Tribes: No deal to UND, NCAA pact
Tribes: No deal to UND, NCAA pact
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 theyre going to try to buy use of the name, said Jesse Taken
Alive, a Standing Rock tribal council member. Theyve 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 UNDs
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 couldnt 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. Its 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. Its 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 cant 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
UND and its backers should accept that the Lakota Sioux tribes never will
grant approval of the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo, Brings Plenty
They can dangle all the scholarships they want, he said. Its not going
to affect us. Our people have never been known to lay down. Theyve always