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Tribes: No deal to UND, NCAA pact

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  • Robert Schmidt
    http://www.wctrib.com/articles/index.cfm?id=26283§ion=homepage Tribes: No deal to UND, NCAA pact Patrick Springer The Forum of Fargo/Moorhead - 10/27/2007
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 30, 2007
      http://www.wctrib.com/articles/index.cfm?id=26283§ion=homepage

      Tribes: No deal to UND, NCAA pact

      Patrick Springer
      The Forum of Fargo/Moorhead - 10/27/2007

      Dakota and Lakota tribal leaders spurned a settlement announced Friday that
      would allow the University of North Dakota time to seek approval to keep
      using the controversial “Fighting Sioux” nickname and logo.

      “I think they’re going to try to buy use of the name,” said Jesse Taken
      Alive, a Standing Rock tribal council member. “They’ve already tried to do
      that here at Standing Rock.”

      Terms of a settlement reached Friday between the university and the NCAA
      require UND to begin to abandon the controversial nickname and logo in
      three years – unless it gets the approval of two specific tribes, the
      Standing Rock Sioux and Spirit Lake Dakota.

      Some members of Standing Rock and other Sioux tribes complained that UND’s
      offers of new scholarship programs for American Indian students constituted
      an effort to win support of usage of the “Fighting Sioux” nickname and
      logo, an allegation university officials denied.

      The Spirit Lake tribal council passed a resolution in 2000 that offers
      conditional support for the nickname, but Myra Pearson, chairwoman of the
      Spirit Lake tribe, was quoted in August saying she does not read the
      resolution as supporting the nickname.

      The Standing Rock Sioux passed a resolution opposing “Fighting Sioux” in
      2001, and many of its leaders continue to be outspoken critics.

      Pearson couldn’t be reached for comment Friday. However, Ron His Horse is
      Thunder, chairman of the Standing Rock tribe, said he and Pearson were
      shown the proposed agreement, and both expressed their disapproval.

      “Her reaction was along the same lines as mine,” he told the Grand Forks
      Herald. “It’s trying to buy Indians by treating them nicely and giving them
      alcohol at hockey games that she objected to.”

      Michael Selvage, chairman of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota tribe, which has
      its headquarters in Agency Village, S.D., but has tribal lands in North
      Dakota, said his tribe should not have been excluded in the settlement.

      The tribe – which is on record opposing use of Dakota names for sports
      teams or mascots – is recognized as an official North Dakota tribe by the
      state of North Dakota, he said.

      “I am opposed to using Dakota nicknames and logos and images,” Selvage
      said. “It’s not right, and a lot of it becomes denigrated.”

      David Gipp, president of United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck and a
      Standing Rock member, said resolutions opposing the nickname by many tribes
      “cannot be swept aside.

      “Allowing a three-year period to influence the tribes leaves the door open
      for UND and its agents to continue their meddling in the social and
      political affairs of tribal nations, causing untold damage in the lives of
      good people and families who only wish to have their ways and heritage
      respected,” Gipp said.

      Many American Indian leaders said the university can’t control unofficial
      uses of the nickname and logo, which fans of opposing teams repeatedly have
      caricatured in humiliating racial stereotypes.

      Intense rivalries can bring out bigoted slogans and images that hurt
      American Indian people, said Joe Brings Plenty Sr., chairman of the
      Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe in South Dakota.

      “What I see that ultimately comes out of it is that ugliness and racism,”
      he said. “It means categorizing, stereotyping, racism against my people, my
      children. No people in the world should have to live with that stress, with
      that fear.”

      UND and its backers should accept that the Lakota Sioux tribes never will
      grant approval of the “Fighting Sioux” nickname and logo, Brings Plenty
      said.

      “They can dangle all the scholarships they want,” he said. “It’s not going
      to affect us. Our people have never been known to lay down. They’ve always
      fought.”
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