" You have to keep in mind that we're dealing with federally recognized tribes that have legal sovereignty. I may not feel comfortable with the way some school represents Native Americans in their community. But it's not my decision. I have to defer to those whose names and images are being used. . . . I don't feel, as a non-Native American, as an outsider I can override the very clear, unambiguous desire of these tribes." Myles Brand former NCAA president
"How smooth must be the language of the whites, when they can make right look like wrong, and wrong like right."
- Black Hawk, Sauk-(1767-1838)Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak
Consider this: Standing Rock gave its approval to the use of the name by its elders of the tribe 80 years ago. Generations have attended UND and have embraced what is known as a tradition at UND and sacred not only to UND, but to the people behind the logo, who it represents. The Sioux. If the Sioux thought that UND was not representing them or misrepresenting them by their actions surrounding the use of their name, do you not believe that they are capable or recalling the right to use their name?
For the past 80 years UND Athletics have been known as the Fighting Sioux. The Standing Rock Tribal Council gave the name generations ago to UND as “gift”. NO longer the “Flickertails”, but to be known as a proud, honest and strong people with a fighting spirit. The name and logo have sewn the very fabric of who we are in the State of North Dakota. The Fighting Sioux has become a SYMBOL that represents more than a domesticated animal, a wild animal in athletic competition. It represents a People.
Since this time, the Fighting Sioux Athletics have created a tradition of excellence in athletic competition. The same fighting spirit possessed by Sioux Warriors centuries ago is the same spirit that all UND athletes carry as the don the Fighting Sioux logo.
What is unique to UND as the Fighting Sioux is the logo is more than just a name and logo. It represents a part of ND history, a proud People… The Sioux. The FIGHTING SIOUX has become a main thread in the fabric that propels the University of North Dakota to achieve a high level in the country. We as North Dakotans, have many great schools in our State. Each has its own pride and traditions. UND is no exception. The Fighting Sioux is to UND as Coke is to Coca Cola. The name has become the branding of UND.
The NCAA has made it known that it has an agenda to remove the Native American imagery from the collegiate athletic field. Gone are the generic Warriors, Chiefs, Indians, Redskins, names that are generic in representation of Native American images and logos. Yet the NCAA has made exceptions to their rule. Schools like the Fighting Illini, Utah Utes, Florida Seminoles; Central Michigan Chippewa have all been required to obtain approval from one sovereign namesake tribe. In the agreement made by the parties of UND, ND, NCAA, they required UND to obtain two approvals for use of the name and logo, Standing Rock and Spirit Lake tribes respectably. The tribes have been forced into the debate and required to hold a vote. A yes vote to approve to retain the name and logo and a no vote to disapprove and retire the name and logo. This agreement was not with the Sioux nor did it include the Sioux Tribes. They were not privy to the white man debate nor were they asked to take a seat at the table. The Sioux have been locked out of the debate over whether their name is hostile and abusive to the Native Americans and have not had a chance to represent their position. After 80 years of use by UND, after the NCAA just finished capitalizing on sales of FIGHTING SIOUX apparel during last years final playoffs, they were capitalizing a alleged “hostile and abusive” image that happens to be the most recognized and admired logos in hockey in North America.
They have continually been misrepresented by the very organization that is trying to protect them and they are fighting the very organization that is trying to protect them!
The “Surrender” Agreement entered into by UND/ND with the NCAA does not include the recognized namesake tribes of Spirit Lake and Standing Rock. The Sioux are not named in the Agreement. They have been excluded.
Repeatedly the Sioux have requested to be present during the discussions… and each time their requests were ignored, denied or cast aside.
Contrary to what the media portrays, the majority of the Sioux People want to keep the name. They agree that UND brings honor, respect, loyalty, visibility, pride while elevating their culture.
This debate is long from over. Are you hostile or abusive? If neither, then please join us in defense of Sioux Pride, Sioux Tradition. HELP US SAVE THE FIGHTING SIOUX!
Committee for Understanding and Respect
“Good words do not last long unless they amount to something. Words do not pay for my dead people. They do not pay for my country, now overrun by white men. They do not protect my father’s grave. They do not pay for all my horses and cattle. - Chief Joseph
“I am a red man. If the Great Spirit had desired me to be a white man he would have made me so in the first place. If we must die...we die defending our rights." ~Sitting Bull,