North Dakota students and nickname supporters dressed in their Fighting Sioux apparel rally and group photo at Ralph Engelstad Arena on Friday, April 9, 2010, in Grand Forks, N.D. The event was held one day after the ND State Board of Higher Education directed the university to begin retiring the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo. (AP Photo/Grand Forks Herald Sarah Kolberg)
Some 300 people marched through Grand Forks, N.D., last night to protest a decision by the state Supreme Court to drop the University of North Dakota’s Fighting Sioux nickname (see previous post, here.) The Grand Forks Herald reports that the group wants to try and keep the nickname.
Last weekend, extra security was called in for an annual powwow at UND because of the intense feelings over the pending name change, according to WDAY, here. And, North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven says he’ll look to the Spirit Lake Sioux Nation for support to appeal the name change, according to the Jamestown Sun.
Meanwhile, the nickname ban continues to attract commentary, pro and con. Here’s a sampling:
” … The University of North Dakota, and, as an extension, the city of Grand Forks and the surrounding area, does not deserve the Fighting Sioux moniker/mascot/logo. As a result of our community’s ignorance, racism, and lack of perception, we have done nothing to reach out and truly honor our Native brothers and sisters, contrary to what so many people claim.”The Dakota Student
“I think it (stinks). I think it’s stupid.” Zach Parise, a former Fighting Sioux player who now plays for the NHL’s New Jersey Devils, to the Newark Star-Ledger.
“We agree with the general premise that racially inspired team nicknames and logos should be re-evaluated nationwide, and that all care should be taken when considering the use of nicknames and logos that may be deemed offensive to the race of people who inspired them. We are troubled, though, by the inconsistency with which that effort is being applied across the nation.” The Mitchell Daily Republic
“It’s time to move on. UND is an excellent school that has achieved greatness in academics, research and athletics. The logo dispute has been a sideshow that has diverted attention from those achievements and stained the university’s reputation and the state’s image.” The Jamestown Sun
People on the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation who oppose the University of North Dakota’s “Fighting Sioux” nickname will meet Monday with the tribal council to try and resolve the issue.
They’ll try to convince council members to reverse a resolution passed last week that grants UND the “perpetual” use of the Fighting Sioux nickname, according to this story in today’s Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald.
“We’ll ask the council where they get the authority to give ‘perpetual’ permission,” says nickname opponent Erich Longie.
Longie and other opponents say resolutions cannot be perpetual, meaning future councils could issue new resolutions opposing the nickname.
Under an agreement between the state of North Dakota and the NCAA, which considers American Indian nicknames “hostile and abusive,” UND needs approval from the state’s two Sioux tribes to keep using the nickname. It has until Oct. 1 – less than a week – to obtain that.
Standing Rock Sioux nickname supporters are working on a petition to get the council there to issue a referendum on the nickname, but they won’t be ready by Thursday’s deadline.
The Sioux Manufacturing Corp. plant on the Spirit Lake Nation in Fort Totten, N.D. (Sioux Manufacturing photo)
In a desperate attempt to regain credibility after our sojourn in the celebrity blogosphere, Buffalo Post gratefully turns to Forbes magazine, and this story about the Spirit Lake (N.D.) Nation’s Sioux Manufacturing Corp. that makes body armor for the military.
Last year, the company faced a Justice Department probe into the armor’s quality, but now says it’s completed an audit and bought new equipment aimed at correcting the problems. (Here’s a background story.)
Company head Carl McKay, a former Spirit Lake tribal chairman, says the investigation caused hurt feelings among the tribe, which has many members serving in the military.
“We have friends and relatives who need this stuff,” he said. “It is really a slap in the face for the Department of Justice to do what they did. A lot of our people here just really resented it.”
The story puts the plant’s annual sales at between $25 million and $40 million. The firm employs about 200 people, 85 percent of them Native, and has more than 200 job applications on file.