Charles Trimble: The demise of the 'Fighting Sioux'
"In the furnished apartment where my wife and I lived when we were first married in 1962, there was a large framed print of a god-awful painting that hung on the wall behind our couch. I detested the picture and would spend several moments cursing it every evening when I came home from work. My wife suggested I take it down if it bothered me so much, which I did. However, in a short time – a couple of days – I began to miss the painting. I no longer had something to help me to blow off steam from the day’s frustrations. So I hung it back up and things were fine.

That’s what I feel is going to happen now that the Fighting Sioux no longer lives on the campus of the University of North Dakota, nor in the cellar of whatever conference UND plays in. I’m going to miss it, and Indian newspapers are going to find much empty space, especially on their op-ed pages.

Now comes the interesting process of selecting a new name and mascot for the university. I had suggested before that Mad Russians or Bouncing Czechs might be more representative of the demographics of the state, or perhaps the Terrible Swedes. North Dakota State already has the mascot name Bison, which someone has already charged was exploitation of something sacred and suggested should be the cause of the next PC war.

Someone from Rosebud suggested a long time ago that UND just go by the name of The Fighting Little Snakes. The word Sioux is derived from the Chippewa word Nadoweesiou, which means “lesser adder,” or little snake. The name Fighting Little Snakes would be a symbolic victory for the university. But while they’re sulking and grumbling about us pesky savages, let’s give them some assistance. Let’s help them find another name."

Get the Story:
Charles Trimble: The demise of the Fighting Sioux (Indian Country Today 6/9)

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