(HEAT STREET) — The University of Wisconsin-Stout has decided to take down historical paintings that show interactions between white settlers and First Nations people because of their potentially “harmful” effects on students and viewers. The move was sparked by complaints from a diversity group.
One of the paintings shows French fur traders canoeing down the Red Cedar River with American Indians; the other is of a French fort. Both were painted by artist Cal Peters in 1936 and were recently restored with funding by the Wisconsin Historical Society.
After 80 years of decorating the university’s Harvey Hall, the paintings caught the attention of the school’s Diversity Leadership Team (DLT), which complained to the administration that this depiction of First Nations people reinforced racial stereotypes and promoted “acts of domination and oppression.”
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