The University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux

By Gary Norris Gray BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: August 12, 2011

OAKLAND, CA, (BASN)–As an African American – Native American Indian the issue of offensive American Indian names and mascots for universities, colleges and high schools is very disturbing. This issue should be put to bed once and for all.

Campuses and Universities in the United States are places of higher learning that should be teaching students to respect the first inhabitants of North America.

Many Universities with Native American Mascots and names like Stanford in Palo Atlo, California, Dartmouth, in Hanover, New Hampshire, and the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois either dropped their name, their mascot, or both.

The University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux are still fighting the fight wanting the (NCAA) National Collegian Athletic Association to reconsider their famous Indian head logo and name. The school administration and the student population are fine with the recent ruling. It is the North Dakota Legislators that want to keep the name and mascot. Citing it’s historic champion hockey team winning the NCAA Championship creating state tradition.

University of North Dakota spokesman says UND still plans to drop its Fighting Sioux nickname, even though the Legislature voted to keep it. So what is this problem? The problem, is the lack of respect from the North Dakota legislature after being told that it was offensive.

Senators voted 28-15 to approve a bill that orders the university to keep the nickname and a logo that shows a profile of an American Indian warrior, in green and white.

This also shows the lack of respect by the North Dakota State House for Native American Indians.

UND Spokesman, Peter Johnson says the university intends to follow an earlier directive from the Board of Higher Education. He says if the board provides different direction, the UND board will follow it.

Currently the Board of Higher Education ordered UND to drop the nickname and logo. Both are to be retired sometime this month.

The NCAA and the North Dakota Board of Higher Education have already ruled five years ago on Universities, Colleges, and high schools with Native American names and mascots.

The North Dakota legislators are getting involved and trying to fight the NCAA ruling. Could it be the North Dakota government has not learn from past events like the battle of the Arkansas State University Indians? Losing to other schools who would not play them in the state of Arkansas. The ASU Indians community lost millions when the University of Wisconsin football team would not travel south to play them because of their name and mascot.

This historic event might convince some North Dakota legislators to stop pursuing the reinstatement of their name and mascot. If the Fighting Sioux issue continues, the NCAA would impose sanctions, not allowing UND to host any college championship events on campus. This would not only hurt the school but also hurt the university community. Because it would deprive the community of the economic revenues of any event at UND.

So it’s up to the North Dakota state political leadership to drop this idea immediately.

Please write the North Dakota Legislator in Bismarck, North Dakota and to encourage them to follow their directive handed down by the NCAA and the State Board of Education.

The Legislator Council

State Capitol

600 East Boulevard

Bismarck, North Dakota 58505-0360

Or call – 1-701-328-3373 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-701-328-3373 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Thanks to the Minnesota Public Radio Organization web site for most of the information in this article.

©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod.