April 25, 2015

"Hurons" create hostile environment

EMU's Native American student group asks university for more support during rally (PHOTOS)

By Ben BairdNASO members made clear they are not satisfied with the university administration's response so far, both in regards to the students in red face as well as the reappearance of the Hurons logo on campus. The Hurons mascot was eliminated more than 20 years ago after a campus-wide effort was begun by four Native American women who found it disrespectful.

Davi Trusty, who was the president of NASO in 1991 when he attended EMU, said he feels it's a shame Native American students are still fighting the same issues that he fought.

If someone thinks it's okay to tell a Native American to go back to the reservation or to put makeup on their face and pretend to be an "Indian" something is wrong in that person's psyche, he said.

Trusty said they appreciate the love and support members of the community have shown following this incident.

Morseau said Kay McGowan, an adjunct professor at EMU who teaches anthropology and sociology classes, spoke to each of her classes April 15 about racism, disrespect toward women and the culture of erasure--of a dominant culture diminishing another.

McGowan, the only Native American professor on campus, subsequently received an email from someone identifying himself as "John Smith" who told her no harm was intended by what happened April 11 and that the Native American community was overreacting.

"This email alone demonstrates to us that these students involved do not understand what it is they have done and they certainly have yet to see the consequences deserved for what we consider to be a hate crime," Morseau said.
University Party in Michigan Reveals Unsafe Climate For Native American Students on Campus

By Simon Moya-SmithYet, although the Native American Huron mascot has been retired for nearly 25 years–and although the corresponding logo has since been deemed to reinforce negative stereotypes–the caricature still lives on in school-sanctioned band uniforms.

There’s also a website, the Huron Restoration Alumni Chapter, dedicated to the return of the Huron mascot where graduates can buy shirts and bumper stickers reading, “Once a Huron, Always a Huron.”

When ICTMN asked Larcom why the retired mascot is still used on official campus uniforms, he wrote that its in homage to an era of the band’s history. He added that the controversial logo is situated “on an inside flap of the jacket that is not publicly visible during performances or public appearances.”

‘Campus Culture Is Not Safe’

When Amber Morseau walked onto the EMU campus four years ago she couldn’t have known that one day she’d quit the university’s color guard in protest of the resurrection of the Huron mascot.

Morseau, who’s Pokagon Band of Potawatomi and the president of EMU’s Native American Student Organization (NASO), said it was at band camp during her junior year that the university added the ousted Huron mascot to the uniforms.

“I didn’t know what to do,” she said. “The band director said there was absolutely nothing they could do.”

Morseau and other members of NASO later approached university President Susan Martin who admitted to them that she personally authorized the resurrection of the old Indian mascot. Morseau said she told Martin that the mascot creates a hostile environment for the few Native American students there are on campus. She asked Martin if that mattered.

“She avoided the question,” Morseau said.
Hurons logo disagreement continues between EMU, Native American student group

By Ben BairdAmber Morseau, NASO president, said she believes the Hurons logo helped lead to this party and she's concerned more incidents like it could happen. She feels EMU should do more to have preventative measures in place.

NASO was told there are no plans to remove the Hurons logo from EMU's band uniforms, she said. Money is a factor for the university's decision, she said, as the uniforms were costly: around $140,000.
And a 2012 report on the return of the Hurons logo:

EMU brings back Indian logo, despite criticism

Comment:  For more on the subject, see Native Students Protest EMU's Racism and EMU Students in Redface Taunt Indian.

Below:  Savage Hurons aka Indians.

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