November 28, 2007

Standing Rock says no, repeatedly

Resounding ‘no’ issued for requestThe Standing Rock Tribal Council passed its fourth resolution against the nickname this month, said Jesse Taken Alive, a council member and former chairman.

“How else can we say no?” Taken Alive said. “It’s very disrespectful.”

David Gipp, president of United Tribes Technical College, said today is the time for UND to begin making the transition to a new logo.

“We will bring North Dakota into the 21st century kicking and screaming, but we will do it,” Gipp said.
Standing Rock leaders say they won't change stance[Approval is] not coming from Standing Rock, His Horse Is Thunder said. He said he travels worldwide and runs into harmful and ignorant stereotypes of Indians all the time, such as “Do you still live in teepees?”

The UND nickname and logo “perpetuates that stereotypical image,” he said. “It's just a part of who we were and doesn't give them the encompassing image of who we are.”

Indians include physicians and lawyers who are contributing to American life and are not simply historical artifacts clad in “buckskins and headdresses,” remembered most for “fighting the cavalry,” he said.

“If that's all we wanted to be, we wouldn't come here to UND,” His Horse Is Thunder said. “We come to expand our horizons . . . to become part of the modern world.”
Comment:  Good job. Mascot foes usually don't articulate the problem with "fighting" mascots so clearly.

For more on the subject, see Fighting the Fighting Sioux.

Below:  Chief Illiniwek, a "Fighting Illini."


Anonymous said...

I understand your point, but that doesn't mean you need to totally shun your heritage. It is part of who you are, part of what some of us still are. There is no shame in wearing a headdress and practicing the old ways.

Rob said...

I'm not an Indian myself, you know.

In the past, most Indians didn't wear headdresses. Only Plains Indian chiefs did.

Nobody is shunning the practice of "the old ways." In many tribes, traditions continue in their proper place and time.

What Indians are shunning is being depicted solely as primitive people of the past and not as multifaceted people of the present. That's what happens with Indian team names and mascots such as UND's "Fighting Sioux."