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Friday, May 15, 2009

My Hope....
It is no surprise to anyone who reads my blog that I went to the University of North Dakota for my undergraduate degree. I am proud alumni and love hockey because of UND. In fact, when I was a hall director at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, I took my RA's to a hockey game on campus. I was so excited to see a hockey game, I could not wait for the puck to drop at 7:05 p.m. When we got the arena, I walked in and said, "THIS is your hockey arena?" It was the size of a high school ice rink. I was so bummed I couldn't even get into the game.

Now that's saying something!

Yesterday I received an e-mail from the UND alumni office stating that the State Board of Higher Education voted 8-0 in favor of retiring the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo.

I was devastated.

If you don't know why this is on the table, just google Fighting Sioux Name Change NCAA and you can read all about it. But my hope is that this goes down in the history books that this name change came about because of the NCAA thought that UND's nickname and logo were hostile and abusive. Not because UND alumni, students and fans abused it.

See, the funny thing is? A lot of people--including many Sioux tribe members--don't feel it is disrespectful, hostile or abusive. So what gives?

We don't wear war paint.
We don't dress in fringed pants or moccasins.
We don't have a guy dressed up in a Native American outfit, riding a horse, holding a spear.
We don't whoop or chant in a disrespecting manner.
We don't do the tomahawk chop.

If our school did these things, I could completely understand the issue. I'd be disappointed too.

As students & alumni, we attend the annual Pow-wow on campus.
We wear green and white Fighting Sioux shirts with pride.
Before every game we watch a video on the jumbo-tron about how the nickname came to be and how we need to be respectful and honor the Sioux tribe.
We have majors & minors in Indian Studies.
Our logo--not a mascot--was designed by a Native American artist.

I ask you, NCAA, how in the hell did you come to the conclusion that the nickname--adopted back in 1930--was disrespectful, hostile and abusive? I don't get it.

Side note to all the University of Minnesota alumni: we still have a better hockey team. Amen.

6 comments:

Tracy Griffin - Artist said...

Jeez. I love hockey! I particularly love the Minnesota Wild. I wish people could just get over it.

"Can't we all just get along?"

Mommy of M's said...

I agree. While I do not know that much of my family history or practices my grandmother was a full blooded Native American Indian. In my opinion having this logo would bring out a higher interest in the Native American life style. With that interest brings education.

But of course I’m just a (partially) white girl that doesn’t know much about her Native American heritage.

Sticky (not too) said...

Oh man...I am so sorry. I grew up in Minnesota, hell, I played for the U of M women's hocky team for a semester until those giant B*&%'s gave me one too many concussions...
Anyhow - that seems like a very arbitrary decision and not at all in line with what is happening at the school. Unfair.

We did that dorm/hall director thing for a few years too...crazy!

American in Norway said...

Cause the NAACP doesn't have anything better to fight for?! (shaking head) Sorry!

jcbroske said...

I attended a High School where our mascot was the Indians right after I graduated they changed the mascot it was never the same!!

Two Blessings From Above said...

Everything my one son owns is UND Fighting Sioux! I just said last night we need to paint one of his walls green because he has all new bedroom stuff in UND Fighting Sioux. I have been in that beautiful ice rink and I wonder how they will ever take all the logos out of that rink? They are EVERYWHERE!!!! The marble floors are so beautiful! I don't get how the logo is abusive, maybe becasue they have the word "Fighting". I don't get it either! I think the logo is beautiful!