Monday, March 17, 2008

Douglas Heartman

Hello I am Douglas Heartman, a associate professor at the university of Minnesota. I currently teach in the school's Sociology department and chairman of the U of M's NCAA faculty committee. As a Sociology professor most of my classes and research has to do with race and ethnicity. From my research I have concluded that the South Dakota "fighting Sioux" mascot is racist and offensive. The University of MN and North Dakota state compete annually in several different sporting events during the year. Because the University's faculty committee and myself find the mascot to be offensive and degrading we have decided to cut all athletic events with South Dakota State, with the exception of Hockey. Only because of the two schools outstanding play and rivalry in the sport. I look forward to discussing more of this topic and hope I can influence others to ban this discriminating mascot. Attached is a link to my profile at the University of Minnesota.


zoe said...

The college world needs more professors like you. I applaud you for standing up for my people. I am glad to see that you are using your leadership to set an example for other professors. I just don't understand why the NCAA made an exception for the hockey team. Why not send a message to UND by blocking off all of the teams games to say stop using the mascot?
-Winona, UND Native American student

Emily_P said...

Dear Douglas Heartman,

I am honored be able to have this discussion with you. I understand your concern with the name "Sioux" however, as I have said before, it is not to be taken offensive. I understand that the people of the Sioux refer to themselves as the Lakota however they also refer to themselves as a "Sioux Nation." Another problem, you must understand, is that if you were to change the name of the mascot you would need to change many of the cities also located around us.
I went on a trip once to promote the health of Native Americans through the Great Plains and I stumbled across various uses of the name Sioux. In my letter to you and all the NCAA members I wrote:

I flew over South Dakota, crossing the Sioux River several times, and finally landed in Sioux City, Iowa, just south of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The airplane in which I traveled that day was called a Cheyenne.

I am aware of the negative language the word 'Sioux' means in French due to the war that was going on between the two during that time period. However I feel that the tribal nations as well as the U.S. use the word today in respect and even a member of the Sioux/Lakota tribe says: "Recently have our people started using the name Sioux as an identity."

Another issue that is brought up is the different dialects the people of the Native American nation speak. For if we were to call ourselves the "Lakhota" or "Lakota" there would be other tribes saying that it was incorrect.

"In the Santee dialect, “alliance of friends” is spelled and pronounced, "Dakhota," in the Yankton dialect it is "Nakhota," and in the Teton dialect, it is "Lakhota.""

This is also from the website above that I have provided for you.

I hope we can continue to discuss this issue and if you have any more questions for me, please let me know. As a member of the NCAA and a member of the community around us, I value your opinion.


Chuck Kupcello
President of the University of North Dakota

LaurenVann said...

Mr. Heartman-
I am not sure that I understand your reasoning as to why U of M and UND should not compete. I think it is especially absurd that no other sport compete, yet the hockey teams still play eachother you say because of the "competition." Isn't that what all college sports are for? I think that the mascot issue should not be regarded when it comes to the NCAA.
-Cathy Kristin

Ryan Vaudreuil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ryan Vaudreuil said...

Are you out of your mind. What is differnce between the fighting Sioux than the fighting Irish. The only difference is that the Sioux actually faught. But what I really want to know is why a white man living in Minnesota wants to get rid of the name. You're not even an Indian. Maybe if you lived up here you would have a different opinion about them. All they are is a bunch of drunks. The worst part about this is that they are not letting two quality schools play each other in sporting events because of it. You need to get you head screwed on straight and stop feeling bad for some Indians.

-Deputy Len McAuley

Laura B said...

Douglas, thanks for your support. I am glad to see that the adminstration at UNd feels the same way I do about this topic. I think you make a lot of good points. THanks for your time. -Jon Ekohak

DJFrey said...

wow Frank, i got quite a kick out of your introduction. You are quite the racist and are obviously confused as to why people have problems with the mascot. It is DEGRADING! Ive allready used this example but, I might as well use it again. I think the school should change the mascot to the "rapping doctors." You could be the mascot and run out on the field with your war medals and take advantage of unexpecting paitents. I would love to see your opinions on this subject if that was to happen. It would be the same feeling some of the Sioux tribe feel when the school marches out a little white college kid in "war paint" and have him dance around for the crowds amusment.

You know Dougy I don't like this hateful bond between us, you might have the respect to mind your own business. People love me Doug, it is plain and simple. If I were the mascot i wouldn't be surprised to see the school attendance double, even if those red meat girls run, they will come to me when times get tough.

Frank Hayden

AlyMcP said...

I have the uttermost respect for my people. It is just completely ridiculous that so many people are taking this issue way beyond what it truly is. And as for your research.. research can not tell a person if what they mean is offensive nor can it tell you how the group feels. I am a Native American and I strongly believe that the Fighting Sioux was not created as an offensive gesture, nor do I feel offended in any way.
-Ollie Young Bear

Tommy said...

Douglas, I think we just need to take some deep breaths here and calm down. I also think that displaying the "n" word over a blog is not appropriate. You and I may have to have a seat and discuss blog adaquete.

E.Holmquist said...

Douglas Heartman-
I'm so glad to hear that you haven't cut off competition with the UND hockey team. We hope to beat you in the future, but I don't want you to get a bad impression of me. I am a student at UND and a huge hockey fan. I have found on campus that the students are respectful of the name the Fighting Sioux. I would like to hear some of your research to find out what you have seen, but I'm wondering if you have ever visited campus? I also wonder how you would feel if the tradition of the Gophers was taken away. You should know how much history goes along with a mascot or a name of a college. I think the fact that so many people are supportive of the school and everything it is doing shows that the people attending UND really love the school and are not trying to disrepsect their own name. I would hope that you would come feel the environment of the campus for yourself. I think we are positive and full of pride here at school. Also tell your hockey team to watch out.
-UND hockey fan