The Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe has decided to weigh in on the University’s use of the “Fighting Sioux” mascot; they have retained legal counsel and sued. Sued the NCAA that is:
FORT TOTTEN, ND – Speaking at the tribal headquarters of the Spirit Lake Sioux Nation, attorney Reed Soderstrom announced a lawsuit against the NCAA alleging copyright infringement and civil rights violations. The Sioux tribe supports the University of North Dakota’s “Fighting Sioux” nickname and logo, but the NCAA has deemed them to be “hostile and abusive.”
“Today, the Spirit Lake Tribe of Indians, by and through its Committee of Understanding and Respect, and Archie Fool Bear, individually, and as Representative of more than 1004 Petitioners of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, filed a lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association in direct response to their attempt to take away and prevent the North Dakota Sioux Indians from giving their name forever to the University of North Dakota,” said Soderstrom in prepared remarks.
Soderstrom alleges that the NCAA has violated “the religious and first amendment rights of the Dakota Sioux tribes.” He also alleged a double standard in the application of the NCAA’s policy against the use of Native American names and imagery.
The Sioux Nation WANTS the mascot to remain. They find honor in being thus honored. The NCAA is insane.
Agreed. I’m from Sioux Falls, South Dakota (I grew up there), and when I worked in DC I worked for awhile on Indian affairs in Senator Pressler’s office. I talked with people of the Lakota Sioux and while they prefer to be called by their tribal name, many said they prefer “Indian” to “native American” since everyone born in the US is technically a native American. They did resent uses of derogatory names like “squaw” on some instances, but were very reasonable.
Just as my partial Norwegian background allows me to embrace the “Minnesota Vikings” (honoring a group of Scandinavians known for raping and pillaging) I think the Sioux are smart to embrace the “Fighting Sioux,” honoring a group that lived with nature in a generally peaceful and communal existence until the Europeans came and they tried to fight back. Of course, given the NCAA’s history, this isn’t surprising.
Scott, you are scoring major points in the “Cool Things I Didn’t Know About Scott Erb” Category today!!!!
Side topic re: Indian Affairs. I saw Stossel talking about how much the government takes from the native lands dollar-wise (concerning resources) compared to how little it gives back. I’ve checked on the U.S. and Canadian side and can’t find any real numbers – any quick, top-of-mind suggestions on where I’d look to research the disparity? (Granted, I’m not going past two Google pages worth…)
I really don’t know — it’s been so long since I worked on that, and South Dakota houses some of the poorest reservations in the country. I do know that the Sioux were promised the Black Hills until gold was found there!
Gee, why am I not surprised! 🙂