Yale has apologized for its choice of past program covers for a historic program collage on the cover of its program for Saturday’s game vs. Dartmouth.
The school’s program covers for 2016 have featured previous programs and Saturday’s cover featured a collection of eight covers from previous games vs. Dartmouth. Four of the covers in the program shown below (and tweeted by the executive director of the school’s Indigenous Performing Arts Program) contained cartoonish and offensive depictions of Native Americans.
— Mary Kathryn Nagle (@MKNAGLE) October 9, 2016
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.
Our intention was to recognize the 100-game relationship between Dartmouth College and Yale University. We are truly sorry for the hurt this program cover caused, particularly for those from Native American communities. Yale Athletics is committed to representing the best of Yale and upholding the University’s values, especially respect for all.
Dartmouth’s current nickname is the “Big Green.” The school was founded to educate Native Americans in New England and “Indians” became an unofficial nickname for the team during the 20th century. In 1974, the Dartmouth Board of Trustees noted any usage of the depiction of the “(Indian) symbol in any form to be inconsistent with present institutional and academic objectives of the College in advancing Native American education.
Dartmouth’s statement — from over 40 years ago — along with the recent discussions regarding the appropriateness of the Washington Redskins’ logo and nickname should have been a sign that Yale should have re-evaluated four of the choices it made for the collage.
The mistake won’t likely happen again, either. The Association of Native Americans at Yale issued a statement condemning the racist imagery and accepted Yale’s apology saying it looked “forward to working with them to prevent future circulation of blatantly racist images of indigenous peoples.”
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