Yellow Bird: It's time to retire 'Fighting Sioux'
"Retire the “Fighting Sioux” nickname. Enough verbal stone throwing.

American Indian people have a history of racial problems with our non-Indian neighbors. It wasn’t long ago when Indian people were followed around in stores because storekeepers thought we might steal something. We couldn’t get loans; we couldn’t write checks; we weren’t allowed to buy alcohol, name calling was accepted — we were thought of as second-class citizens.

Through the years, change came to our communities. But those changes were slow in coming — and the nickname hampers this positive change.

The results of the nickname referendum at Spirit Lake seemed to say that everyone at Fort Totten, N.D., supports the name. Not true. There are many who don’t support it.

Furthermore, logic also will say that nickname supporters themselves wouldn’t stand behind the nickname if they faced some of the comments that surround it. For example, in an e-mail in response to a column some time ago, I was called a “drunken, lazy Indian,” a “prairie nigger” and other derogatory names. The Herald itself restricts comments on nickname stories because those comments tend to get so inflammatory."

Get the Story:
COLUMNIST DORREEN YELLOW BIRD: Time to let the nickname go (The Grand Forks Herald 9/17)

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