Monday, March 24, 2008

Ollie Young Bear

Hello All,
I am Ollie Young Bear. I am an Indian living in northeastern Montana. I have a wife whose name is Doris Strickland, and together we have two children. I graduated from Montana State University in Bozeman and was a deacon at First Lutheran Church. I am also a pitcher for the Elk's fast-pitch softball team, I just love the game. On weekends I head to the reservation and bring bats and balls so the guys there can play baseball.
I don't know why so many people are making such a big fuss about this mascot issue. The college is not trying to be offensive, and I think people are just taking this too far. If anything, I believe the Sioux should feel honored that they were chosen as a mascot in the first place. Not just anyone can be a mascot, think about it..

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Jon Ekohak

Hello, my name is Jon Ekohak. I was born and raised in New Mexico with my five other siblings and two of them are also lawyers. I was the first Indian to graduate from the New Mexico Law Program. I am married and have two children. I am a lawyer and an active member of the NARF (Native America Rights Fund). I have been their Executive Director since 1977. I am also the founder. I have been recognized as one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America. I earned this award for my involvement in leadership in the Indian Law field. I have been admitted to practice law in Colorado and in other states too. I was apart of a trail that lost Billions from the US Indian Trust fund. That money was stolen and I played a role in trying to get it back and have justice be served to the people who stole our money. It was just another example of how my people have been disrespected and how we have been mistreated. I am an enrolled member of the Pawnee Tribe. For the past thirty six years I have fought for the land, water, and dignity of my people. I think that UND having the mascot is disreapectful to my people. Students at UND chant and mock us by dressing up of what they think a Native American looks like and it is disrepectful and I will continue to fight for justice.

Doris Strickland

EVERYBODY!  What is the big fuss surrounding this whole mascot debate?  Oh, by the way my name is Doris Strickland, wife of Ollie Young Bear, and a proud mother of two.  I'm a white female and being married to a Native American has brought me close to the culture, even though he did not come from the reservation.  I see the pride that comes along with their heritage, and I think it's fantastic for a college to bring history into belonging to UND.  Being named the Fighting Sioux gives such a meaningful sense of pride and power to the Sioux tribes.  I couldn't imagine trying to change history, which is what the university would be doing if they changed the name of it's mascot!  

Gramm Greenn

Hello every one my name is Gramm Green I am a proud Oneida Native American I was born in Ohsweken on the Six Nations Resesrve in Ontario. I graduated from the Center for Indigenous Theatre's Native Theatre School program in 1974. I have been in many famous films such as the Green Mile and Maverick. I am very proud of my heritage and honored to be able to have many Mascots named after Native Americans controversy over the UND fighting Sioux. To change the name of the mascot would be wrong. It would take away much pride that I have for my Native American Heritage. The fighting Sioux also gives you a sense of pride of our country's past, so for me personally I say stop making a big deal about the name of the mascot and let the students of UND have a good experience there with out having to worry about conflicts such as this. Thank you and have a good day

Ayy Frank Hayden

Frank Hayden Here...and I am tired of this arguing over the Native American Mascots. Who really cares what those lesser red meats think? I mean true, there is nothing wrong with a little medicine and red meat, but why are you people concerned with what those Indians think? Especially you white folks standing up for them, you out to know better by now that their opinions don't matter. Just the other day I was with this Indian girl, trying to diagnose her fever, and boy did she fight me over it, I don't know what her deal was, but she was not letting me touch her. The fight in her lead me to see the reason teams like the fighting Sioux chose such a mascot, I would love to coach any football or debate team that fought like she did with me.
Like I was saying just let the mascots do their thing, the Indians can't take too much offense to it, it is only a name, why not be happy with the recognition and quit complaining? Seriously I have helped many Indian girls before and they always seem to complain when I arrive, it is really uncalled for. The girls act like I am going to hurt them or something, I am just here to help them diagnose and relieve their problems. In all seriousness just let the mascots be and ignore the complaints.
Hello all, this Gloria Hayden here. I'm the wife of Frank Hayden a doctor in Mercer County Montana. We work frequently with the Indians around these parts and feel that these people should really take pride in the name the Fighting Sioux. I personally love the name for the team. It seems to be a symbol of pride to our Indians that have lived in this area. The people that oppose this idea really just have to get over the fact that it is just a mascot. I mean why are people taking this so seriously, just like Dan Snidyr said below. I say let the players themselves decide if the name is appropriate or not. And I think if they were to do this, the majority would clearly be in favor of keeping the mascot name. This issue needs to be dropped, and the games should be played without worrying about a nickname. Well thats really all I have, thanks for listening.

Marie Little Solider

Hey guys! I'm in my early twenties and live with my mother and my step dad. I am a member of the Hunkpapa Sioux which they were originally from the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota. I came to Montana when my mother married a Canadian. He owned a bar in Bentrock. I love to laugh and have a good time with my friends. I like to tease people about everything, but if i think they are taking it to seriously I say, "Not so, not so!". My clothes never really fit me right, I always had to have the hand me down dresses... i hate that! I have a boyfriend who I adore. His name is Ronnie Tall Bear, he works on a ranch north of town. He is a very good athlete. I loved to watch him play baseball.

I believe that our mascot is a very strong symbol of our tribe. I personally would feel honored to wear our fighting Sioux across my chest while competing in sports. The symbol for me is a comfort thing, if I need encouragement it would help me a lot. I know my father think its defensive because they believe its for our tribe not for others to use and abuse it. He also view Indians as lower class and not being able to do things so to them the symbol is for people of lesser "class". My mother on the other hand thinks its a great idea to have a mascot represent such a great team.