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.


Emily G said...

Jon Ekohak, I disagree, but respect your standpoint. I am not offended by the chants and mascot from UND. I have not seen pictures of the students dressed up in costumes but I could see why that would be degrading. I love, and appreciate how you stand up for our culture and fight for our rights as citizens. Thankyou for all of your hard work. -Doris Looks Away

HLFlug said...

Dear Jon Ekohak,
I understand that there are a lot of people who are making fun of the Indian culture. I believe that although it is terrible, it happens everywhere and it should be ignored. The sports teams at UND rise above the derogatory comments and show their name proudly. UND athletics are becoming division 1 and show their "fighting sioux" name with honor. I think that you should be proud that the students at UND want to represent your Indian tribe. Thanks for listening!
-Editor, The Dakota Student

ABarmore said...

THANK YOU!!! I know what you are saying. I finally found someone that knew how to talk around here. Everyone else just talks like a bunch of children. Nobody else understands the pain people endure because of the college using this mascot. It is a big sign of disrespect. I will help you fight for Justice. You should start a group, and we can protest outside the college for however long it will take.
-mike sanders

mollym said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mollym said...

Dear Jon Ekohak,
I am really sorry for what happened to you but I applaud you on all of the success you have had in your life. Congratulations! You are the kind of Native American who gives us a good name and shows people how we are just the same as everyone else. Also, thank you for all you've done to further our people with all of your work with the NARF. I wasn't aware that the UND students dress up like our people and do offensive chants. I'm glad that you brought this to my attention and it sways my opinion even more. I think it is very wrong.
-Ronnie Tall Bear

emilyo said...

Jon Ekohak,
It's good you stick up for your people. I agree that it is disrespectful that people mock them, it is rude and they should stop.
-Enid Hayden

AlyMcP said...

Dear Jon Ekohak,
I don't see why you are making such a fuss out of this situation. I am also Native American and I do not take their mascot as offensive. As for the chanting and costumes, that may be a little far, but they are just showing their team spirit. Thank you for your time, and I hope I have gotten you to reconsider the issue at hand.
-Ollie Young Bear

zoe said...

Finally, someone with the same opinions as me. I am glad you understand the opression alot of us UND native american students are feeling. I hope that maybe we might see you at a future BRIDGES meeting.
-Winona UND native american student

Michelle said...

Hey remember to put your name on the bottom of your posts. I had a hard enough time trying to find you that I almost just said forget it. But now that I found you how am I disrespecting the Indians. I am just stating the facts. If they don't like it then get over it. Not my fault they are sensitive. If someone calls me fat and lazy I get off of my ass and walk to the fridge for some exercise. Then I walk back to the couch with the chips and work my biceps each time I bring a chip to my mouth. I can deal and so can they.
Julian Hayden

Tommy said...

Jon my man. Let's just put our swords away for a second and calm down. You see, I know for a fact that those students that dress as Indians are not trying to mock your tribe by any means. In fact, I believe that they are embracing you and are just showing spirit in their school, which is the most important thing here right? Good. Well I'll talk to you later Jon.

Dan Snidyr

E.Holmquist said...

Jon Ekohak-
I hope that you are not throwing all the UND students into one generalization. As far as my views of the campus are I don't feel anyone is disrespectful of the Sioux people. Most sports fan dress in green and white and don't dress up specifically like Indians. Even if someone were to dress up like an Indian they are trying to show pride in the school. Nobody is wearing a costume like that to offend but rather to promote school spirit at games. I think that maybe if students were more educated about the culture of the Sioux than we would know not to dress up like so. I think that the name is well repected and liked and I hope you can visit campus to see how much pride we all feel in wearing the name.
-UND hockey fan

AlyssaV said...

Dear Mr. Ekohak,
I admit your words distress me… a lot. I don’t think you really understand what your peoples do for society. Nothing. Which is why I don’t really see how you are upset the UND is putting the Indian peoples in a positive light. The Fighting Sioux is a name that implies strength and determination, both of which seem to be lost on your culture. Though I think it is very honorable of you to go out and make a life for yourself, I think your work ethic is one all Indians should look up to. I have nothing against you personally, as I judge each individual differently. In my books, you pass as a productive member of society, a feat that a majority of your fellows could not do. I think your people should be honored that a school is willing to be represented by and Indian mascot. I think complaining about it makes your people look spoiled and ungrateful. Take the fighting Irish and an example. There was even less violence in their American past than that in the Indian’s past. You don’t see them complaining. I think the Indians should be proud of what they are.
-Wesley Hayden

Brandon K. said...

We dress up as the Sioux because it represents your tribe, by doing this we show respect to your people. Our mascot is not derogatory in anyway, but instead it shows a sign of respect to the tribe. We show the true spirit that is the Sioux.

Jillian said...


I agree with your opinions on Native American rights. I do not think that Native Americans should be used as mascots. They are people to. I also support how you are involved in Native American rights groups.


Alli L said...

Dear Jon,
I do not agree with your view on the issue however I do respect it. I think its great that you are taking a stand and trying to fix this controversial issues however I don't see what the big deal is. I honestly don't think the "fight sioux" should be taking as demeaning or degrading in any way.

-David Hayden