UND's nickname and logo ignores the reality that a Dakota/Lakota/Nakota person might have been the last physician one saw at a medical clinic or the clerk at the local supermarket or the teacher at a child's school. They likely were not wearing feathers or looking for a fight.
American Indians in control
Imagine, too, if you can, and if you care to, how American Indians must have felt to see this. I have tried to imagine that. How would I feel, seeing cardboard cutouts of my honest, hardworking parents, or of my grandmother, gentle and honorable woman that she was, treated this way, dragged or spat on or worse? How Indians could have endured this is beyond me. I don’t think I could.
But it was not only other schools that were disrespectful. UND students themselves would ridicule Indian images as only bored college kids can. Don’t tell me it didn’t happen. I was there. I lived in the dorms, I was in the parades, I saw the antics, I heard the whoops, I heard the insults and the taunts.
In taped interviews in the series, local white citizens unabashedly defend their “right” to refuse service to African-Americans in their restaurants and strongly oppose federal efforts to integrate public accommodations.
If one were to read letters to the editor or newspaper chat rooms over the past few years regarding the issue of American Indian nicknames, the sentiment often parallels statements made by members of hate groups in the South in the 1960s. Those hate groups mocked and targeted civil rights workers and encouraged violence against them.