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Community Report: Students Ask Dartmouth To Remove Weathervane Featuring 'Racist Depiction'

Two photos, one of a tower with a weathervane in the distance, and a closeup of the weathervane, showing a Native American sitting at the feet of a colonist.
James M. Patterson
/
Valley News
The weathervane at Dartmouth College, which a Native American student group has criticized as depicting harmful stereotypes and asked the college to remove.

  

This week, a Native American student group at Dartmouth College lobbied for the removal of the college's iconic copper weathervane atop the Baker Library, saying it depicts a racist stereotype. Valley News news editor John Gregg spoke with VPR about the students' request, the symbol's history and what the college plans to do next.

The 600-pound weathervane was erected in 1928. Its image, of college founder Eleazar Wheelock, standing above a seated Native person, depicts a racist stereotype of Native peoples according to the group Native Americans at Dartmouth.

Valley News reporter Alex Hanson wrote a story about the students' petition to remove the image, and according to Gregg, the school agreed the weathervane is "offensive" and promised to take it down and replace it with something else.

Read Alex Hanson's story in the Valley News here.

One Native Americans at Dartmouth member told Hanson: "Going forward, we hope that the college can find an Indigenous artist to create a piece that will reclaim the highest point on campus, continuing to decolonize Dartmouth, and to represent its ever-developing commitment to Indigenous populations.” 

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