Eastern Michigan to remove 'Hurons' logo from marching band uniforms after group's request



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YPSILANTI, Michigan — Eastern Michigan University announced Tuesday that it will drop logos depicting the profile of an American Indian and the word "Hurons" from marching band uniforms.

Interim university President Kim Schatzel notified the Native American Student Organization of the plans. The Ypsilanti school will buy new uniform jackets with no logos or symbols other than the block "E'' on the outside, The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press reported.

The Hurons nickname and the school's mascot were dropped in 1991 after criticism they were demeaning to Native Americans. The school's nickname was changed to "Eagles."

Former president Susan Martin, who retired last month, returned the Hurons logo to the uniforms in 2012, beneath a flap and not easily visible. Martin had said the Hurons logo was part of a celebration of the band's history.

"As we all know, controversy and questions surrounding the use of logos and symbols that are offensive to some groups or community members is a highly complex issue that is not isolated to Eastern Michigan University," Schatzel wrote in a letter posted online.

The Native American group sought to have the logos removed. U.S. Justice Department officials met in June with university leaders and the student organization to discuss concerns about use of the Hurons logo and a harassment case.

In that case, Native American elder Nathaniel Phillips told investigators that students at an off-campus party in April were dressed in red face-paint and feathers. When Phillips told the students their dress was offensive, they reportedly threw a full beer can at him and told him to return to a reservation.

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