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Opinion
Opinion: 'Fighting Sioux' name unfair to tribes


"This weekend, our men's hockey team finds itself in the center of the debate as they travel to the University of North Dakota to face the Fighting Sioux. The team has been in the headlines lately and not for their goal scoring. UND is in a fight with the NCAA over the use of their nickname. In August, the NCAA mandated that for all sanctioned postseason championship play, schools cannot use Indian mascots, logos or nicknames that are deemed 'hostile and abusive.' Originally, 18 schools were included, but some, most notably the Florida State Seminoles, have successfully appealed citing agreements with their namesake tribe. UND has no such agreement.

The nickname 'The Fighting Sioux' obviously paints the Sioux tribes with a warlike brush. After white settlers killed and displaced the Great Plains tribes, the term implies that the Sioux were the instigators, rather than a peaceful indigenous people brutally suppressed by the 'manifest destiny' theory of expansionist America. Various Sioux tribal leaders have expressed concern over the name, yet the UND administration stubbornly fights to hold onto the label, insisting that it actually honors the Sioux people."

Get the Story:
David Hyde: Put offensive mascots in the penalty box (The Northeastern News 10/12)

NCAA Decision:
Statement by NCAA Senior Vice-President for Governance and Membership Bernard Franklin on University of North Dakota Review(September 28, 2005)

NCAA Policy:
NCAA Executive Committee Issues Guidelines for Use of Native American Mascots at Championship Events (August 5, 2005)

Relevant Links:
University of North Dakota - http://www.und.edu
The Ralph - http://www.theralph.com
Fighting Sioux - http://www.fightingsioux.com
NCAA Minority Opportunities and Interests Committee - http://www1.ncaa.org/eprise/main/
membership/governance/assoc-wide/moic/index.html

National Coalition on Racism in Sports and Media - http://www.aimovement.org/ncrsm

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