Yellow Bird: Peace and harmony as Fighting Sioux nears end
"As I stood among the hundreds of milling participants — many of them dressed for business, but some looking like they just came off the rigs — I was surprised to hear a loud conversation behind me about UND’s Fighting Sioux nickname.

Frankly, I don’t think much about the nickname any more because it doesn’t come up much in the area where I live. So, how strange it seemed to find a group of men discussing the logo issue at the oil conference, where participants came are from around the world.

And crazy as it may seem, I overheard another Fighting Sioux conversation later that same day.

Early the next morning, I sat through a long lecture about oil in Canada, but the conversations I’d overheard the day before played over in my mind.

How do the name and logo compare to what’s happening on American Indian reservations? Homelessness, neglected children, cancer (which is rampant on the reservation), heart disease and most assuredly the ongoing battle against alcohol and drug abuse: The problems here are real. They’re not just statistics or hot news stories.

To this day, I wonder how the supporters and opponents of the name can be so far apart. For me, it’s a human rights issue, in that there is no other word but racism for what the nickname leaves in its wake."

Get the Story:
COLUMNIST DORREEN YELLOW BIRD: More than ever, times call for grace, respect (The Grand Forks Herald 6/3)

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