Students plan Chief's next dance as yearly event
By Ryan Young
"I, too, am fighting for a tradition," Barnhill said.
Before and after speaking at the Next Dance, Barnhill joined the group protesting the event outside Assembly Hall.
"Something is wrong when children don't know that Native Americans still exist," he said.
Perhaps the biggest problem was his mere presence. As the token "Indian," he lent legitimacy to the event. That might've been okay if he had chastised the audience about the stereotypical Chief...but he didn't.
So the audience watched phony Chiefs 90% of the time and heard Barnhill exhort them 10% of the time. Nobody said anything negative about the Chief. Did Barnhill really serve the cause of education? Or did he merely allow the organizers to say, "See, we had an Indian talk about education. That proves we care about today's Indians. We're legitimate Native supporters so stop criticizing us"? Or worse, "We're legitimate Native supporters so bring back the Chief"?
For more on the subject, see Team Names and Mascots.