Posts Tagged ‘Team nicknames’

Wisconsin Public Radio is reporting that the Osseo-Fairchild has been ordered to stop using its race-based mascot “The Chieftains.” It’s the first time a new state law banning such nicknames has been used.

The state Department of Public Instruction finds that the name is discriminatory and promotes stereotypes of Native Americans, Brian Bull reports. (Fox 21 picked up that report.)

If the district doesn’t drop the mascot within a year, it could be fined.

Harvey Gunderson, who along with his wife, Carol, is among those who complained, says he hopes the action will inspire similar moves at other schools.

“In fact several people have called to thank us and to say this was a victory for American Indians across the state of Wisconsin, and in fact a victory for American Indians across the entire nation,” says Gunderson, who adds he and his wife have been threatened for their stance.

Gwen Florio

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An aerial view with the moon over the Kenai Mountains, Kachemak Bay, and the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (AP Photo/Scott Dickerson)

An aerial view with the moon over the Kenai Mountains, Kachemak Bay, and the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (AP Photo/Scott Dickerson)


Alaska tribe pins economic hopes on new ferry
The Seldovia Village Tribe in Alaska has unveiled the newest ferry in Kachemak Bay — the M/V Kachemak Voyager — which arrived last week at the Homer Port and Harbor. It’s part of a plan from a nearly $1 million boat ramp to be built by the tribe, according to this Homer Tribune story. The ferry will allow tribal members to more easily get to jobs in Homer, 45 minutes away by boat.


First Nations women stage 300-mile march to protest gender discrimination

Despite extensive changes, Canada’s Indian Act still promotes discrimination, especially against women, Indian Country Today’s Gale Courey Toensing writes here. Under the act, Native women who marry non-Native men lose their Indian status, and so do their children, something the protesters term “slow genocide.”

Funding snafu leaves Nunavut law school high and dry

Some 25 Nunavut students had hoped to study law by next September. But the government of Nunavut rejected a $3.6 million funding request from the Akitsiraq Law School Society, throwing those plans in doubt, the Nunatsiaq News reports here.


Grits are originally Native American

So says this San Francisco Chronicle story. Although somewhere along the line they became emblematic of Southern food, they’re made from hominy, which comes from corn – and you know who first cultivated that.

Reality check, during Stanley Cup, on Blackhawks’ name
WLS-TV in Chicago has this piece on the National Hockey League’s Blackhawks name. Check out the story and see what you think. This Flyers fan suggests an alternative – root for Philadelphia. Just sayin’.

This?
blackhaws

Or this?
flyers

Gwen Florio

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The school's soon-to-be retired logo

The school's soon-to-be retired logo


While residents of Maine could attend a symposium today (see previous post, here) on the use of Native American mascots in sports, a school in Wisconsin has voted to retire its “Redmen” logo, WKBT reports here.

The Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau School voted 7-2 to retire not only the Redmen name, but the use of its Indian head logo “Chief Decorah.”

Wisconsin has a new law, as of this spring, that subjects school districts to fines if they continue to use race-based mascots or logos over residents’ objections.

As usual, someone argued that the school’s Redmen logo was actually a way to honor tribes.

“I didn’t care if the logo was changed or not. For me they were missing the point. The point was this was a great educational opportunity to bring in the Native American culture,” maintains Nichi McDonald, a Trempealeau resident.

Nonetheless, the use ends in July and the search for a new mascot will begin in the fall.

Gwen Florio

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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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resized_mascotThe issue of Native-themed sports mascots has been much in the news lately, most recently with the ongoing controversy over a decision to end the University of North Dakota’s use of the Fighting Sioux mascot. (See yesterday’s post here.)

Students at the University of Colorado-Denver have been paying attention, and are weighing in on the side of ending all use of such mascots.

“It’s just blatantly racist when you have teams that are called, you know, the savages,” Charles Panke, a Lakota Sioux descendant, tells Denver’s 9News, here. (Watch a video of the newcast here.)

Panke dismisses claims that such mascots actually honor Native people. “You don’t honor somebody by doing these tomahawk chops that are not part of any Native American culture whatsoever or even doing war whoops or things like that,” he says.

So Panke and others in the Ethnic Studies department created the “I am not a Mascot” video. They’re going to post it to Facebook and YouTube, but we haven’t found it there yet; when we do, we’ll post it.

Darius Lee Smith, with the Colorado Indian Education Foundation, points out that Colorado has nearly 20 schools that use Indian mascots, and of course there are many more around the country.

And he applauds the ethnic make-up of the students who made the video. “”The majority of the individuals are Non-native. I think that’s why this project is so important.”

He wants the Colorado High School Activities Association to push schools to change such logos and mascots, just as the National Collegiate Athletic Association has done nationally.

Gwen Florio

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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)

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

And, there’s this video on YouTube:

What do you think?

Gwen Florio

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Team nicknames like the Redmen, Chieftains and Warriors — now in use — all would be banned under a bill narrowly approved yesterday by Wisconsin’s Senate.

Schools that fail to comply would face hefty fines, according to this story by the Wisconsin State Journal’s Mary Spicuzza.

More than 30 schools would be affected. They could keep the names only if they could prove they weren’t discriminatory.

Sen. Spencer Coggs, D-Milwaukee, says the bill sends a message to Native people: “You are worth something, you are worthy, your culture we respect.”

But some Republicans complained that Native-themed nicknames already show respect.

The bill passed only by a single vote. The Assembly earlier passed a similar bill; the two versions must be resolved before the measure goes to Gov. Jim Doyle.

Gwen Florio

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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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