Opinion: Fighting Sioux name not an honor to Native Americans

"How does one, in fact, honor our Native American neighbors through the use stereotypes? Frankly, I still await conclusive proof from nickname supporters as to exactly what they do to honor American Indians with the use of the Fighting Sioux logo and nickname.

When the announcement that the logo would be changed was made in April of 2010, several small groups of students and community members gathered together to hold a series of "rallies" that would show UND's administration what honor was about. I went to these events with a neutral point of view, wanting to soak in everything I could.

Discussions with various students and community members during the "demonstraphoto" (honor through photography, apparently) and at a candlelight vigil that was "coincidentally" scheduled during the Grand March of UND's Wacipi didn't demonstrate any more proof of "honor." As a matter of fact, the distance between nickname supporters and Hugo's rules of honor was lengthened by what I heard!

Examples from these events were in great supply: the unnamed student who said that, because he was Caucasian, he couldn't "really see their (American Indians) perspective and how they feel about it;" the 25+ people I spoke which said outright that they have never been and wouldn't be going to the Wacipi that weekend; and the hundreds of Facebook comments on event walls and groups which would make many racists blush. An American Indian UND student standing on the sidelines of the Demonstraphoto provided the most damning proof of this communal lack of honor: there were more people in jerseys at the photo than there were at the prior year's Wacipi.

This is the perfect example of the disconnect between honor and reality: UND and the city of Grand Forks are lucky to have a premier American Indian cultural event in their backyard. Honor and respect does not come from wearing a jersey/sweatpants/hat to a hockey game, having a candlelight vigil or taking a photo."

Get the Story:
Martin Rottler: Honor found in engagement, not logo (The Dakota Student 3/4)

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