Village Seal Initiative
After a yearlong review that included extensive research and outreach to Chicago-area Native communities, a Village committee unanimously recommended that Skokie design a new Village seal for use on official documents and materials, replacing the current seal featuring Native imagery that has been used since the late 1940s.
Because Skokie (formerly Niles Centre) was established on land that was originally inhabited by Indigenous peoples, and the Village would like the new seal design to continue to honor that fact, the Village is reaching out to Native artists and other artists in the region to submit designs for consideration.
As this process moves forward, the Village Seal Committee invites the public to provide any comments, ideas, suggestions or visuals they'd like to share in relation to this project. Complete the Village seal public input form.
Parameters for a new Village seal
The committee unanimously recommended that the Village develop a new, culturally appropriate design that reflects the rich history and promising future of the Village, representing:
- The history of Skokie's land
- The Native community
- The possibilities of Skokie's future
- The richness of Skokie's multi-cultural community
In addition, the committee recommended that the new Village Seal should not contain an image of a Native American person for the reasons stated below.
Why replace the current Village seal?
The Village committee’s review determined:
- National peer-reviewed research shows that Native mascots and depictions of Native people have had a harmful effect on Native communities and the greater population by reinforcing stereotyping and prejudice
- The Native imagery used in the Village seal is not a culturally or historically accurate representation of the Potawatomi people who inhabited the area that is now Skokie
- Members of the local Native community and the broader Skokie community find the seal image and its depiction of a Native person to be inappropriate, and in conflict with how some Native people would like to be represented
From the Skokie Heritage Museum:
- Indian Country Today, Effects from Native Themed Mascots
- Politico, How Native American Team Names Distort Your Psychology
- The psychosocial effects of Native American mascots
From the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian
- Unpacking the Mascot Debate: Native American Identification Predicts Opposition to Native Mascots
- Narrative Change Strategy from the Reclaiming Native Truth Project
- “Frozen in Time”: The Impact of Native American Media Representations on Identity and Self-Understanding
Village Seal Committee
- Maria Monastero Bueno (Co-Chair), Human Relations Commission Chair
- Trustee Khem Khoeun (Co-chair)
- Jasmine Gurneau (Co-chair), Northwestern University, Director of Native American and Indigenous Affairs
- Sheila Crumrine, Human Relations Commission
- Richard Witry, Skokie Historical Society
- Emily England, Skokie Heritage Museum
- Thom DaMario, Appearance Commission
- Joe Hibdon, Resident
- Michaela Marchi, Resident
- Patrick Deignan, Staff
- Alex Franz, Staff
- Amanda Sabri, Staff
Agendas and Minutes
Agendas are available prior to the meetings and are posted on the Village website. Minutes are available following approval. View Agendas and Minutes.