Monday, March 24, 2008
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
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.
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.
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.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Hey guys and gals. I'm the owner for the Washington Redskins, Chairman of the board at Six Flags, and I am the owner of the Johnny Rockets food chain, so I am loaded! I got a beautiful wife named Tanya, two daughters, and a son. I am proud to say that I am the owner of the Redskins and don't find it offensive at all if our team mascot is a redskin, the only thing I do find offensive is if we lose a darn game! Everybody needs to lighten up and just focus on what's important, the game itself, not the mascot. Besides, having a mascot such as the Fighting Sioux and the Redskins gives us a sense of pride in our country's history and the people that represented our country long ago. So, people that are making a fuss about the Fighting Sioux just need to let the players play and stop focusing on things that aren't important to the sport itself. Have a good day!
I'm deputy Len McAuley of Bentrock county. I'm second in command of the police department after Wes Hayden. I've been the deputy almost all of my life except when Mr. Hayden's terms expire. Then I serve one term as the Sheriff. I did the same thing for Wes's father Julian. Anyways, being the deputy of Bentrock county isn't real exciting. We don't do much more than arrest a few drunks on the weekend. Speaking of drunks, I kinda used to be one myself, but I've cleaned up my act since those days. Anyways, I heard about some controversy over the University of North Dakota mascot, the Fighting Sioux. I don't see why these indians would even be upset about being a mascot. They should be proud of it. What do they want to change it to anyways, the peaceful Sioux? All they ever did was fight until we put them in the reservations. If those Indians are going to protest it, I don't think anyone around here is going to listen to them anyways.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
-Davey Hastol, UND Hockey Coach
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
I feel that the situation with the Native American mascot is absurd. In no way should it matter whether the mascot is Native American or not. It is not our place to judge which race a mascot is chosen to be. Whatever a school wants to be represented by is there own decision. It makes me sick to think that this is even an issue to be discussed. It is no one place to judge others when it comes to there race. Everyone should be treated the same.
I don't mind the Indians on the reservation as long as they stay there and don't bother us in town. They are very superstitious and lazy and need to learn our modern ways of doing things. The mascot at UND should not be changed. It is not degrading towards the Indians at all. They fought the whites and their tribal name was the Sioux so why would would the Fighting Sioux be degrading. They did it so they should live with it. Just because a couple of lazy red skinned Indians thought the mascot doesn't represent their culture doesn't mean an entire university has to change everything on campus to please them. That's ridiculous. What if I thought the University of Notre Dame's the Fighting Irish was degrading to me because I was two percent Irish? Not all Irish fight and have red hair! But no one fights that because we are not the minority. The Indians are a minority and think that they are special because of it. But they aren't and they don't get special treatments. They already got some of our land for their reservations so shouldn't they be happy? No, now they need to change the mascot because it hurts their feelings. Too bad! I say get over it and leave the University of North Dakota alone.
Monday, March 17, 2008
HOW. That is Native American for hello. Wamdi Okiciz is my name, which literally means Little Wing. I was born in Minnesota in 1785. During my younger years I helped the American men in the War of 1812. My duties included carrying messages to the U.S. government and promoting the U.S. efforts against Britain within my people. The white men gave me the nickname of "War Wings." This was ironic because I am remembered as a man of peace. After war I worked as a river guide along the Mississippi and as a messenger for the American Fur Trade. After War I got married and was adopted into the Yankton Sioux tribe. My wife and I had 3 boys and 4 girls. Other tribal leaders and I went to Washington D.C. to debate peace treaties. I was honored to receive a peace medal from the president for my actions.
As a jury member in the North Dakota mascot case I try to have an open mind on the subject. Please give me your thoughts as I try to decide what is best for the "fighting Sioux." Peace is a big part of who I am. If the debate is not peaceful my views on this case will be swayed against leaving the mascot as it is. But I see no reason to change the Mascot as long as theres no fighting.
I'm Cathy Kristin, a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper. I joined the Star Tribune as a metro columnist in March of 2005. In recent years, the University of Minnesota created a committee that made a decision to forbid the Gophers to play the University of North Dakota sports teams (except in hockey) due to its mascot, the Fighting Sioux. Native Sioux tribes find this name offensive. Also, under a settlement with the NCAA announced in November, UND has three years to try to persuade Sioux tribes in North Dakota to support the fighting sioux nickname and logo. I find all of this to be foolish. Does this mean that the Notre Dame fighting Irish mascot should also be changed? Do Irsih people find this name offensive? I don't think so.
I love going to any sporting events around campus. I am an avid supporter of the "Sioux" mascot. I think the Sioux represent pride and support of ones ancestors. I don't find it racist or stereotypical in any way. I think the mascot of UND should show pride, and the Sioux definitely show that. It gives students who attend UND more facts about the Sioux background, and it also creates a more diverse school to attend.
Some have said they find that the mascot creates an "abusive and hostile" environment. However, the UND campus does not give that vibe at all. It is a safe place and I don't think the mascot affects whether it is a safe place or not.
I also heard Bob Boyd, the Vice Preseident of Student and Outreach Services, say "I was convinced that such activity without authorization can in fact potentially jeopardize programs that are federally funded." If this means that changing the mascot can put our division I hockey team in danger, then I refuse to let that happen!
I am extremely opposed to UND using the Sioux for their mascot. They are seriously contradicting themselves. How can they "proudly" represent a Native American as their mascot, but won't even accept one as a student? It is extremely unfair that they didn't accept me because I feel I deserve it very much, but then to say that they "love" the Sioux. I am fine with UND keeping their mascot, as soon as they loose all of their prejudice and racism.
It seems as if everyone wants me to be someone I'm not. My father insists that I be my brother. My wife wants a bigger town where I can be an attorney. And my son. I see the way David looks at my gun when he thinks I'm not around. It is the only one I have, and I took it off some guy so he could catch a bus to Billings. He's a boy, and wants me to wield my power. I'm not that way. I like to think I'm level headed and calm tempered. I try to be fair, but I have the predisposition to judge Indians as lazy and shiftless.
My name is Sitting Moose and I am a tribal leader in the North Dakota Sioux community. I am a jury member which requires me to keep an open mind about what to think on the issue of the 'Fighting Sioux' sports team name. Feel free to influence me about this issue to help me decide my opinions as a juror.
The name of my tribe is the Spirit Lake Tribe. Our reservation is located in east-central North Dakota near the shores of Devil's Lake. Currently, the Spirit Lake Tribe is operating the Spirit Lake Casino. I, however, am a professor at the nearby Cankdeska Cikana Community College teaching a class about traditional customs of the tribe. I was the traditional 'Medicine Man' for the tribe. I helped to spiritually heal the ill. After many years of working with the ill I felt it was time to educate the community about our tribe. I am somewhat sensitive to the sports teams names that include native american influences. It is an honor to have a team named after us, but I do have some suspicions that they are mocking our culture.
I don't think the mascot issue is that big of a deal.
Hello, I am Chuck Kupcello, President of UND. I've been president of UND since 1999 and plan to retire this year. My successor, Dr. Robert Kelly, will be taking over my position on July 1. I have had a wonderful time watching students of this University grow. However, I can't say that I haven't had my share of trouble and division among the student body.
Even at this particular moment, a controversy is still brewing around the walls of our humble school. The Board and I were shocked by the August 5th 2005 statement released by the National College Athletic Association. It must be understood that we were charged with words such as "abusive" and "hostile." Such harsh words at first ruffled our feathers a bit, however we wanted to approach this statement calmly and peacefully. In all honesty, the Board and I, have decided against looking into the topic of political "correctness" dealing with the Native American images. This isn't because we don't wish to address the topic but rather because we know negotiations wouldn't undergo due to the strong yet stubborn feelings of both groups.
I would also like for the community to know that we have nothing against Native Americans and our logo design was even designed by a well respected American Indian. I would also like to point out that we have purposefully placed cultural architecture that pays respects to the Native Americans.
The NCAA, in their open statement to us, questioned our use of the name 'Fighting Sioux' and whether it was inappropriate. I would like to speak on behalf of the Board and myself, that the name isn't to be "hostile" or "abusive." There are two different Sioux tribes located here in North Dakota. The problem I have been trying to resolve is the unified decision between the two tribes. One tribe doesn't wish of the use of the name 'Sioux' while the other would allow the name under the circumstances that we educate our students about their culture and history in a positive and truthful light.
If there are any questions upon my open letter replying to the NCAA or even anything you wish to know about UND and the controversy please let me know. On behalf of the Board of Education and UND, I'd like to thank you.
Picture taken by Eric Hylden from, "The New York Times"
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Hello Everyone! I am your loyal Editor of the Dakota Student Newspaper. http://www.dakotastudent.com/ I am 22 years old and a senior at the University of North Dakota. This is my forth year as a journalism student and I hope to someday work for a major newspaper company. I chose the University of North Dakota because I have always loved writing and I knew that this college had an awesome journalism program. I also new that although The Dakota Student newspaper is independent from the college, it would still be a good connection to writing because of its funding by the Board of Student Publications (BOSP).
Since I enrolled in UND I have been familiarized with the controversy surrounding the “Fighting Sioux” mascot name. As you can guess I have received and read many articles about the different viewpoints of this name. Many argue saying they do not like the ridicule that they have to withstand every day (Mike Sanders) and other people say that the mascot name proudly represents the school. Through my years of research I have come to the conclusion that the “Fighting Sioux” name should not change. The name is used for UND because the school is proud to be outstanding and bold. The school is not discriminating against the Lakota Sioux tribes but simply proud of their courage and might. Every college has rival teams and college students yelling derogatory sayings towards the opposing team, but only because they want to win, not because of our name. These few students display bad sportsmanship conduct however should not influence our spirit and pride. UND has the best Division II athletes in the country and should be proud to represent the heroic name of the Sioux people.
Below is a picture of the Board of Editors and myself. We are proud of The Dakota Student and cannot wait to see what interesting information will come to us this year.
2007-2008 Board of Editors
I feel very strongly about the "Fighting Souix" athletic team names. I have been involved in many discussions. I even write about my experiences. I have researched the Souix name, and its rich tradition. http://www.aistm.org/und.htm that is my paper I wrote about how the Fighting Souix became what it is today. People at UND are still pressing for a change though. They do not like the riducle that they have to withstand every day. They go to Athletic events and hear things like F the Souix. I am in support of the student body that wants to change the name. Today there are over 30 programs and services for the Native student population. But, as long as the name continues, there will be an atmosphere of harassment toward the Native student population.
I am an active participant in the campus group B.R.I.D.G.E.S., which stands for Building Roads Into Diverse Groups Empowering Students (www.und.nodak.edu/org/bridges ). B.R.I.D.G.E.S. has a statement on their website : Whereas many students see the name being used in a respectful manner, BRIDGES understands that using any ethnic group as a moniker for a sports team is not respectful-- it is exploitive and leads to dangerous stereotypes and, subsequently, racism. This statement was the reason why I joined B.R.I.D.G.E.S., they believe the same thing that I do. This stereotype of my ancestors being violent warriors is so very old and I believe that UND needs to live up to its reputation as being a leader and change the mascot.
Below is a picture of Native American students protesting at the University of South Dakota. I am proud of my people for raising their voice to stop this wrongful and archaic portrayal of the Sioux people at Univeristy of North Dakota.