Education | Opinion

Erich Longie: 'Fighting Sioux' backers don't speak for tribe





"My mother, a fluent Dakota language speaker, said this about her beloved Dakota language: “It’s very descriptive; you say what you mean and you mean what you say.”

This inherent honesty in our Dakota/Lakota/Nakota language made it hard for a Dakota person to be untruthful. This honesty prompted George Catlin, an artist who spent time among Indian tribes in the early 1800s to state: “I love a people who are honest without laws.”

English, on the other hand, is so vast and sophisticated that it lets people misrepresent, mislead and outright falsify information without being held accountable.

Such is the case with the recent press release by The Committee for Understanding and Respect. In it, the committee members are rewriting history, ignoring facts and making outrageously claims — all within the bounds of the English language."

Get the Story:
Erich Longie: Nickname committee doesn’t speak for Sioux (The Grand Forks Herald 2/26)

More Opinions:
Mike Jacobs: Higher ed critics use nickname for wider point (The Grand Forks Herald 2/26)
Allen Erickson: Arrogant NCAA tells Sioux what’s offensive (The Grand Forks Herald 2/26)

Also Today:
Two from Spirit Lake fight for ‘Fighting Sioux’ (The Fargo Forum 2/26)
Davidson remains optimistic about saving nickname (The Fargo Forum 2/26)
Chaske wants to save nickname for his grandchildren (The Fargo Forum 2/26)

Related Stories:
Letter: UND caught in a mudfight over 'Fighting Sioux' nick (2/22)
UND student leader seeks end to battle over 'Fighting Sioux' (2/14)
Editorial: Trust voters to put 'Fighting Sioux' imagery to rest (2/13)
It's Back: UND resumes use of 'Fighting Sioux' nick and logo (2/10)
'Fighting Sioux' supporters nearing deadline for petitions (2/2)
Letter: Campaign of lies against 'Fighting Sioux' supporters (1/26)
Letter: Tribe's 'Fighting Sioux' committee a big waste of time (1/17)
Opinion: Not all tribes offended by 'Fighting Sioux' nickname (1/16)