Yale University is getting called out after a program for this past weekend’s football game against Dartmouth contained a number of questionable images.
Members of Yale’s Native American Cultural Center were at the football game on Saturday, and it was supposed to be a bonding opportunity with first-year Native American students on campus.
Instead, their school was handing out programs containing offensive cartoons.
"Disappointment in the university that they don't realize the issues with still circulating the racist imagery,” said Yale junior Katie McCleary, who is the president of the Association of Native Americans at Yale. "I'm Little Shell Chippewa Cree and I grew up on the Crow reservation in Montana."
Before switching its nickname to the “Big Green,” Dartmouth was known as the "Indians."
The Yale Athletic Department said its intention was only to recognize the relationship between the two schools, and their 100th game, and it is sorry for any hurt it caused.
"We apologize for yesterday's football game program cover that included historic artwork of insulting portrayals of indigenous people, images that we have long considered to be a violation of our values of mutual respect, equality, and decency. We did not intend to perpetuate these portrayals or condone them,” the school said in a statement.
"It's also Indigenous People's Day weekend, so here we are, trying to make a space for us on campus, to be recognized, and to be represented this way? To all of Yale? Is pretty upsetting,” said Yale junior Haylee Kushi.
Kushi said there have been issues before.
Last October, Yale’s Intercultural Affairs Committee sent an email to students, asking them to avoid dressing up in costumes that might offend others.
A faculty member responded by saying students should be able to wear provocative costumes, even if others considered them offensive. That sparked days-long protests on campus.
Something that’s still not lost on students, even a year later.
"We feel like we really aren't asking for that much, we're asking to be respected, asking to be recognized as students here, as people,” Kushi said.
"I think it shows us we still have a long way to go, Yale still has a long way to go,” McCleary said.
Mobile users can read the full statement from The Association of Native Americans at Yale here.
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