June 23, 2007

How Arkansas State "honors" Indians

Fans react to ASU's proposed name change"We always thought we were honoring the Indians," Vangilder said. "We never thought it was a derogatory thing."

Since August 2005, the NCAA had been putting pressure on Arkansas State to drop its nickname, considered offensive by many Native Americans. ASU landed on a list of nine Division 1 schools that the NCAA claimed were in violation of its ban of ethnically "hostile" or "abusive" nicknames.

"We've been involved for a long time in encouraging schools to change those names," said Paula Stabler, communications officer for Osage Nation, a tribe based in Oklahoma.
ASU Indian History"Indians" is taken from the heritage of the state of Arkansas—from the Osage tribe which roamed Northern Arkansas before the settlers arrived. During the 18th Century the Osage were at war with practically all other tribes of the plains, as well as with the woodland tribes. For that reason, ASUers look with pride to the fighting spirit which dwelled among the Indians of Northern Arkansas.

The Indian Family consists the Chief, the Brave and the Princess. The princess is a person with internal and external beauty. Through the eyes of the young Princess, we see the beauty of the campus and its people. Next is the Brave, through the eyes of the Brave, we see a willingness to forge bravely ahead to our future, succeeding with grit and determination. Finally, the head of the Indian Family—Chief Big Track, with great wisdom and patience. He quietly maintains pride within the family and keeps ASU traditions alive.
From the article again:At the Totem Pole Pawn Shop, where everything from golf clubs to guns--lots and lots of guns--are available for purchase, owners Johnny and Joanna Clines said they have no plans to change the name of their business. They have a laissez faire attitude when it comes to the committee's recommendation.

"If the school wants to change it," Joanna Clines said, "they should change it."

That said, the Clines, who regularly attend ASU football games with their 12-year-old daughter, Ranae, have zero intention of removing the oversized painting of "Spirit Joe" that occupies one of their large storefront windows. "Spirit Joe" is a cartoonish figure of a Native American man that was retired from official use as a school mascot in 1995. That decision was made, according to the school, to "uphold the dignity, stateliness and pride of the native American Indians who once inhabited this area."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jumpin Joe was approved by the tribes of the State of Arkansas when he was first introduced. As sentiments changed, so did the ASU mascot. The University has continually changed the mascot to make it a more honoring figure. Jumpin Joe is not used by ASU and has not been for years.