Profile: Charlene Teters

 

Throughout these controversies leaders and activists have arose out of the many debates. One of the most notable leaders in these controversies is Charlene Teters.

Teters was born and raised in Spokane, Washington and is a member of the Spokane Tribe. She is known as an artist and Native American activist. Teters is currently a faculty member of the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, but also exhibits her art and speaks at college campuses across the nation.

Teters began her activist-career when she spoke out against the University of Illinois mascot the fighting Illini. The University of Illinois was known for their mascot Chief Illiniwek, tradition of the school was to have a student dress as the chief and do a dance during sporting events. By picketing UI sporting events, Teters began to start a national discussion on the use of Native American symbols and names as mascots. Out of this, Teters became the founding member of the National Coalition on Racism in Sports and the Media.

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