Posts Tagged ‘Standing Rock Sioux’

More than a thousand people on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation have signed a petition seeking a vote throughout the reservation on retaining the University of North Dakota’s Fighting Sioux nickname.

Fighting Sioux logo

Fighting Sioux logo

That petition will be considered at the tribal council’s May 4 meeting, unless a special meeting is called sooner, Lauren Donovan of the Bismarck Tribune writes here.

Recently, the nickname was officially retired by the State Board of Higher Education. But the issue remains volatile, with North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven telling the board that the Standing Rock Tribe’s position should be considered, as long as it’s held before Nov. 30, Donovan reports.

Even though the State Board of Higher Education moved to officially retire the name for the University of North Dakota earlier this month, the issue is not over.

Petition organizer Archie Fool Bear, a supporter of the nickname, says the name can be “un-retired.” He tells Donovan:

    “It’s not over. We’re 1,004 strong and we signed our names. Our people need to be heard. This is a democracy, not a dictatorship.”

    Fool Bear said even if the tribal constitution doesn’t provide a referendum process, the council created precedent two years ago by holding a reservation-wide vote on whether to change their tribal name from Sioux to Oyate.

The National Collegiate Education Association terms the Fighting Sioux nickname “hostile” to tribes, and set the Nov. 30 deadline for a decision on it.

The Board of Education, of course, jumped ahead of that deadline, but nickname supporters cite it in their arguments.

Gwen Florio

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The Ralph Engelstad Arena, a sports arena on the University of North Dakota campus in Grand Forks, N.D., features thousands of American Indian head logos that are the subject of a recent North Dakota Supreme Court case in Bismarck. This logo is inlaid in the arena's front lobby, with a statue of Engelstad overlooking it. (AP Photo/Dale Wetzel)

The Ralph Engelstad Arena, a sports arena on the University of North Dakota campus in Grand Forks, N.D., features thousands of American Indian head logos that are the subject of a recent North Dakota Supreme Court case in Bismarck. This logo is inlaid in the arena's front lobby, with a statue of Engelstad overlooking it. (AP Photo/Dale Wetzel)

Tetona Dunlap is a graduate student in journalism at the University of Montana. She is an enrolled member of the Eastern Shoshone tribe from the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming.

Tetona Dulnap

Tetona Dulnap

The other day I was eating lunch with two friends in the cafeteria at the University of Montana. It was crowded as it often is around noon, students filled tables while chatting loudly, the sound of utensils clattering against ceramic plates. However, no matter how crowded or noisy, none of us at our table could help but notice the grinning red face across the room.

Seated at the table next to us was a guy wearing a Cleveland Indians T-shirt and baseball cap. His back was to us, but emblazoned across it was Chief Wahoo. All of us at the table were from different tribes, but we are all equally offended by this stereotypical and racist image smirking at us as we ate. We made sarcastic remarks like, “Is that what we look like?” noting its red face, big nose and sky-high feather. We laughed at its absurdity, our laughter blending with the laughter of our fellow students enjoying their lunch.

When I first learned that the North Dakota State Board of Education ordered the University of North Dakota to drop its Fighting Sioux mascot, I was overjoyed. In 2005, the National Collegiate Athletic Association banned college logos and nicknames it considered “hostile and abusive.”
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The Ralph Engelstad Arena, a sports arena on the University of North Dakota campus Monday last month in Grand Forks, N.D., features thousands of American Indian head logos. This logo is inlaid in the arena's front lobby, with a statue of Engelstad overlooking it. (AP/Dale Wetzel)

The Ralph Engelstad Arena, a sports arena on the University of North Dakota campus in Grand Forks, N.D., features thousands of American Indian head logos. This logo is inlaid in the arena's front lobby, with a statue of Engelstad overlooking it. (AP/Dale Wetzel)


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Just because the North Dakota Board of Higher Education yesterday retired the state university’s Fighting Sioux nickname doesn’t mean everyone has accepted the pending change.

“This is Sioux country. This whole state is Sioux country,” women’s basketball coach Gene Roebuck said today at a news conference, the Associated Press reports here.

“It’s going to be hard for me to move on and to accept any other type of logo,” says Roebuck. She wore a jacket with anIndian head logo designed by a Native student at UND. The school has had the mascot for more than 80 years.

Getting rid of it paves the way to UND’s participation in the Summit League, which set getting rid of the nickname as a criterion.

As the AP’s Dave Kolpack reports:

    The NCAA in 2005 and 2006 listed 19 schools with American Indian mascots and images that it considered “hostile and abusive,” and banned them from postseason play pending name changes. Nicknames the NCAA deemed offensive ranged from Indians to Braves to the Fighting Illini.

    Some universities, like Florida State (the Seminoles) Central Michigan (Chippewas) and Utah (the Utes), were allowed to keep their nicknames by getting permission from local tribes. The University of Illinois was allowed to keep its Fighting Illini nickname, but a mascot dressed in buckskins and headdress, Chief Illiniwek, was banned.

The name was dropped even though the two Sioux tribes within the state — the Spirit Lake Nation and Standing Rock Nation — couldn’t reach agreement on the issue. Spirit Lake backed the nickname; Standing Rock had yet to resolve the issue.

Senior BJ Rainbow, at the office of American Indian Student Services, senior BJ Rainbow says he likes the change but worries about hard feelings and a possible backlash.

No timetable has been set for a new nickname.

Gwen Florio

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Here’s the entire story from the Associated Press, which will be updated:

The soon-to-be-defunct Fighting Sioux log

The soon-to-be-defunct Fighting Sioux log

MAYVILLE, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Board of Higher Education has determined that the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux nickname is retired.

The determination came Thursday after a state Supreme Court ruling that said the board had the authority to change the nickname at any time. The court rejected an appeal that sought to delay action.

The board had voted last May to retire the nickname. A motion on Thursday to reconsider that vote died for lack of a second. Board president Richie Smith said before the vote that he thought no further action was required to retire the nickname.

A group of eight Spirit Lake Sioux tribal members who support the nickname had wanted the courts to bar any decision before a Nov. 30 deadline set in a settlement agreement involving the NCAA, the education board and UND.

The justices in their ruling said the board could change the nickname before the deadline.

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Fighting SiouxThe Standing Rock Tribal Council decided today to await a decision by the North Dakota Board of Higher Education’ on the University of North Dakota’s Fighting Sioux nickname before the tribe takes action.

That council’s move disappointed tribal members who support the nickname, the Fargo-Moorhead Forum reports here.

Archie Fool Bear had collected more than 1,000 signatures on a petition to put the issue on the ballot. But he says tribal council didn’t even discuss his petition at today’s meeting.

The NCAA considers such nicknames “hostile” and “abusive.” In North Dakota, the decision as to whether to keep the nickname was given to the state’s two Sioux tribes.

Members of the Spirit Lake Tribe voted last year to support the name, but opponents are seeking to undo that approval, the Grand Forks Herald reports here.

A lawsuit by supporters is before the state Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, the State Board of Higher Education, meets Thursday at Mayville State University. The nickname issue is on the agenda — UND wants to join the Summit League athletic conference as soon as possible — but board members also await the Supreme Court’s decision, which could force them to wait until Nov. 30 to retire the nickname.

Gwen Florio

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Here’s the entire story from the Associated Press:

Fighting SiouxBISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Standing Rock Sioux tribal members may be voting on whether to support keeping the University of North Dakota’s Fighting Sioux nickname.

Tribal backers of the nickname turned in petitions with just over 1,000 signatures to the tribal government’s offices in Fort Yates on Monday.

Former councilman Archie Fool Bear helped organize the effort. He’d like to see an election within four months.

Tribal Chairman Charles Murphy says the Standing Rock tribal council could consider a resolution at its next meeting April 6, if the petitions are OK.

A referendum on the Spirit Lake Sioux reservation last year showed 67 percent support for keeping UND’s nickname.

North Dakota’s Board of Higher Education is considering dropping the name.

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Edmund Manydeeds (Mark Gunderman photo)Edmund Manydeeds, who becomes the First Native American on Wisconsin’s Board of Regents that oversees higher education, says he sees himself as a role model – not just for other Natives, but for all minorities.

Manydeeds, who is an attorney and an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, in South Dakota, says his background gives him an awareness of the importance of higher education – and the need for that education to be accessible, according to this Associated Press report.

For a profile of Manydeeds, see this Chippewa Valley Business Report story, in which Manydeeds talks of his long experience as an attorney, his childhood on different reservations, and yes, his desire to be a role model.

Gwen Florio

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Fighting Sioux logo

Fighting Sioux logo

The University of North Dakota’s athletic teams are trying to get into the Summit League and schedule some games. But that can’t happen until the school settles a dispute over its teams’ Fighting Sioux nickname and logo.

The issue was supposed to have been settled last year, but the process has been subjected to repeated delays – most recently on Friday, when an attorney for the Spirit Lake Sioux tribe filed an appeal to a plan to ditch the name.

The NCAA considers Indian nicknames offensive and urges schools to drop them. In North Dakota, the decision was left up to the two Sioux tribes within the state. The Spirit Lake Nation voted to keep the nickname, but the Standing Rock Nation has yet to take a vote.

Of all the schools with nicknames targeted by the NCAA, North Dakota is the only one that hasn’t changed its name or been granted a waiver.

Meanwhile, Summit League president Tom Douple tells the Associated Press, here, that UND won’t be considered for admission until the school comes up with something that satisfies the NCAA.

“It’s neighbor against neighbor, and those are never real good situations,” Douple says. “I feel for both sides.”

Gwen Florio

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Fighting Sioux logo

Fighting Sioux logo

Here’s the latest on the case:

FARGO, N.D.  (AP) – A district judge has thrown out a lawsuit by a group of Spirit Lake tribal members who want the University of North Dakota to keep its Fighting Sioux nickname, leaving the moniker’s future in the hands of the state Board of Higher Education.

Board president Richie Smith said the board should decide in January whether to officially retire the nickname and the school’s Indian head logo, which the NCAA considers hostile and abusive. He expects the board will meet Jan. 21 in Grand Forks.

The Spirit Lake group filed the lawsuit in hopes that the board would wait until Nov. 30, 2010, to make its decision. The date was included in a state lawsuit settlement against the NCAA that has allowed UND to temporarily keep the nickname.

Smith said Friday’s ruling by Northeast District Judge Michael Sturdevant was the right decision.

“There were greater issues in the lawsuit than just the name and logo,” Smith said. “It challenged the authority of the board to run the schools. It would have established a terrible precedent.”

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Fighting Sioux logo

Fighting Sioux logo

According to this Forum of Fargo-Moorehead (N.D.) story, District Judge Michael Sturdevant will not rule today on a lawsuit filed by those who support the University of North Dakota’s Fighting Sioux nickname.

The NCAA considers such nicknames “hostile” and “abusive.” In North Dakota, the decision as to whether to keep the nickname was given to the state’s two Sioux tribes.

Members of the Spirit Lake Tribe support the nickname, but the new government of the Standing Rock Tribe say making a decision is not a priority.

Those who support he nickname are seeking more time for an agreement to be worked out between the North Dakota Board of Higher Education and the state’s Sioux tribes.
The Spirit Lake nation says the board must abide an earlier agreement that gave the school until Nov. 30 to win approval from the tribes.

The judge says he’ll issue a written ruling before Christmas.

Meanwhile, the New York Times weighed in on the issue yesterday with an extensive story. Check it out here.

Gwen Florio

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