Chief group wants to resurrect mascot at U of I

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Champaign - A group of past Chief Illiniweks at the University of Illinois wants to bring back the mascot.

 

 But university Chancellor Phyllis Wise says she won't back the idea. And the leader of the tribe that would need to agree says he can't support it, either.

 The Council of Chiefs has asked the university to let the mascot return to two campus events a year. Council President Steve Raquel said that the Peoria tribe in Oklahoma had been willing to talk. Tribe members descended from American Indians who lived in Illinois.

 

But during a phone interview, Peoria Chief John Froman says the tribe isn't looking to bring back the mascot.  Froman says rather, he plans to work with the university to create more opportunities for Native American students, as well as strive to educate the campus community on Native American Culture.

 The university stopped using the mascot in 2007 under NCAA pressure. Some schools use similar mascots with tribal approval.

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