Letter: 'Fighting Sioux' vote threatens sovereignty
"When the Herald, The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, Lloyd Omdahl and many other supporters of UND’s Fighting Sioux logo spoke out in favor of retiring the logo, we thought the ghastly, unpleasant issue finally was laid to rest. But no: A desperate, last-ditch effort by Ralph Engelstad Arena officials and supporters, working through tribal members, is demanding that the Spirit Lake Tribal Council hold a referendum on the logo issue.

Before the council decides, I’d ask its members to take the following into consideration:

First, by far the most important issue at stake here is the tribe’s sovereignty. What precedent will a referendum on this issue set? Who will be the next group to come in and try to persuade tribal members to put something on the ballot?

If another group wants something done on this reservation, they will know that they do not need tribal government. They will just sidestep them and get the people to call for a referendum. They will hire their “champions” to get out the vote. Outsiders will then control the tribal government.

How will our tribal sovereignty survive under this system? "

Get the Story:
Erich Longie: Referendum threatens tribal sovereignty (The Grand Forks Herald 2/20)

Related Stories:
Spirit Lake Nation weighs 'Fighting Sioux' vote (2/19)