A group of University of Notre Dame students is calling for a mural of Christopher Columbus to be removed from the campus’ main building.
The painting depicts Columbus surrounded by a group of Native Americans who appear to be worshipping him.
Dominic Acri is President of the Native American Student Association at Notre Dame. He says the painting depicts misrepresentations and stereotypes about Native Americans.
“Personally, I would say that I would like to see the murals taken out of their prominent position so that Notre Dame Native students, both current and future, don’t have to be constantly reminded of this historical burden when they are just trying to be a student,” Acri says.
The university keeps a pamphlet next to the murals to help explain the historical inaccuracies, but Acri says that’s not enough.
Not all of the Native American Student Association’s members agree with Acri. But they do think the university needs to start a dialogue with its Native students. Acri says the administration declined an invitation to a town hall meeting Wednesday night.
Notre Dame Spokesman Dennis Brown says in a statement the university has no plans to remove the murals because of their historic and artistic value.
Indiana University Bloomington officials responded to a similar situation recently; a mural in a classroom depicts cloaked members of the KKK. After some students pushed for its removal, officials decided not to remove the mural but did convert the room to a multi-use space that would not include classes.