June 14, 2012

Even Sioux voted against "Fighting Sioux"

Residents in reservation county voted against Fighting Sioux nicknameResidents in the North Dakota county that encompasses most of the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation finally had their say on the University of North Dakota's Fighting Sioux nickname.

They want it gone.

State voters decided overwhelmingly Tuesday to dump the controversial nickname and Indian head logo deemed hostile and abusive by the NCAA. Sixty-seven percent voted "yes" on a measure to retire the moniker.

Nickname supporters have long complained about the Standing Rock Tribal Council's refusal to hold a reservation-wide vote on the issue. The end result Tuesday in Sioux County was a 184-159 vote to dump the name.
So much for the claim that outsiders--activists and other Indians--have ignored the wishes of North Dakota's two Sioux tribes. Nope. Those Indians don't want the nickname either.

UND fans are ‘Still Proud’ after Tuesday’s nickname vote

By Chuck HagaTuesday’s vote on whether the University of North Dakota should keep or retire the Sioux name resulted in an overwhelming statement that it should go. Every county but one voted to signal, if in many cases with regret and lingering anger toward the NCAA, that it’s time for the university, its teams and its fans to move on.

The majority for dropping the nickname exceeded 70 percent in Cass, Burleigh and Grand Forks counties and topped 60 percent in most of the rest. The vote on both reservations was for the story to end.

But Archie Fool Bear, nickname champion at Standing Rock, and Eunice Davidson, his counterpart at Spirit Lake, insist they will go on with their campaign for an initiated measure to engrave the nickname in the state Constitution.

“I will continue,” Fool Bear said Wednesday. “I’m still proud of who I am, still proud to be Sioux. I’m not going to go away.
Comment:  The aptly named Fool Bear still doesn't get it. The vote wasn't about Sioux pride. The Lakota Sioux who voted against the nickname, and all the Indians who oppose it, don't think badly of the Sioux. They object to Indians being characterized as fighting-mad savages.

Rather, they object to the war whoops, tomahawk chops, and "smallpox" chants that accompany the savage stereotype. They're proud of what Indians have achieved in science, business, the law, medicine, education, the arts, and religion--not just what they've achieved by attacking and killing people. Duhhh.

Indeed, other Indians probably have more pride than Fool Bear in the Sioux's achievements. The only achievement he's proud of is the Sioux ability to fight. If he's proud of any other aspect of Sioux life, he's keeping quiet about it.

Fool Bear can continue fighting like his cartoon version of the Sioux, but he doesn't have much chance of winning. He'd have to get the same people who turned down this initiative to reverse themselves and vote for a constitutional amendment. The amendment would have to pass a court review. And UND would have to successfully endure the NCAA's sanctions.

Any of those things could happen, but none of them are likely. The odds of all three happening are very unlikely.

For more on the "Fighting Sioux," see North Dakotans Vote to Retire "Fighting Sioux" and NCAA Punished UND for "Fighting Sioux."


Shadow Wolf said...

5 years from now, you can literally see the white man's beloved racist "Injun" mascots wiped out from the educational institutions across the U.S.

Poor little Poor Bear is left out to fend for himself.

Rob said...

I bet some Indian mascots will remain in five years. In 50 years, they may all be gone.

Rob said...

For more on the subject, see:


OUR OPINION: Vote stamps ‘Answered’ on nickname questions

Sioux County is home to the North Dakota side of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. So, the county’s vote on the referendum would be telling, given the tribal council’s steadfast refusal to hold a reservation-only vote

As it turned out, the county’s vote was telling.

Very telling:

Sioux County elected to let UND retire the nickname, 184-159.

Count that as one more in a list of key questions that the referendum answered. And all of the answers point to the same conclusion: Any further effort to force UND to use the Fighting Sioux nickname almost certainly will fail.

Clearly, that’s the ultimate answer from last week’s vote.