SPIRIT LAKE TRIBE
PO Box 359 • FORT TOTTEN, ND 58335 • PHONE 701-766-4221 • FAX: 701-766-4126
September 26, 2011
Big Sky Conference
Doug Fullerton, Commissioner and Members
2491 Washington Blvd, Suite 201
Ogden, UT 84410
Dear Dr Fullerton,
The purpose of this letter is to express to you, on behalf ofthe Spirit Lake Tribe (Dakota Sioux) of North Dakota, with the approval and empowerment of our Tribal Council, the truth surrounding the use of the Fighting Sioux name and logo on the athletic field as it pertains to UND for the past 80 years.
As a proud people, we stand on the principle of our traditions and customs in defense of what was given by our elders of our People to the University of North Dakota generations ago. You may not be aware of the importance of the Pipe in our culture, as is the case of many of those who claim or cast our name as hostile or abusive, with little paucity in the debate while remaining ignorant to our customs. We have asked for evidence of the allegations, but with no demonstrations hard evidence of such claims being produced and find no reason to retire the name and logo at UND. We have ourselves investigated the allegaüons and we find only honor and high regard by UND as Fighting Sioux.
This letter speaks directly to you on behalf of the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe and all other Sioux who have not been allowed to voice their support in the use of our namesake at UND. There is a consistent effort to silence our voices and ignore our request to be at the table to voice our concerns by those who are professing to embrace culture diversity. This is very unsettling to us. We fear that history may be attempting to repeat itself as in the days of our ancestors of the Sioux Nation, as deception and greed raise their ugly heads again.
We wish to remind you that on April 21, 2009 in the general election 67% of Spirit Lake voters voiced their support for the UND Fighting Sioux. That the Spirit Lake Tribal Council voted unanimously to give perpetual use of the name and logo.
It is our hope that the story on January 28, 2011 from President Douple of the Summit League suggesting pressure being applied to come out in opposition to the name and logo by UND officials, is not repeating itself.
We want to educate you on our traditions and culture as it relates to our religious ceremony and the importance of this in the debate. When we share the Pipe, it is our word; it is binding, as in the 1969 Ceremony at UND where President Starcher was made an honorary Chief as part of the Sacred Ceremony. The Supreme Court recognizes the Pipe Ceremony in modem terms as a binding contract and a religious act.
Our elders have given the name and we are to honor and uphold their wishes and values. We cannot allow this ceremony to be cast aside by those who seek to remove our name and culture from the face of the earth.
It is with these actions that we feel that the NCAA has abused our civil liberties, 1 st Amendment Rights and has hindered our ability to seek due process in the court of law. We seek clarification from you and we propose this letter to you and ask you candidly for your reply:
- What is your position conceming the use of the Fighting Sioux name and logo in your conference?
- Have you stated publicly that you will not engage the Fighting Sioux in athletic competition if UND retains the name and logo?
Contrary to what the media may be printing, the Spirit Lake Tribe is in strong support of the continued use of our namesake and logo. We interpret any action or sanctions by any
University/School to be a direct attack against our race, customs, traditions, culture, and people.
We strongly feel that the NCAA is erroneous in its attempts to remove the name and label it as "hostile and abusive" when we ourselves, a Sioux Nation, find it to be honorable and a gift that we bestowed upon UND to use for as long as they do so in an honorable way.
Spirit Lake is requesting that the Big Sky Conference please respond to our request as to what your stance is on this matter.
Spirit Lake Tribe (The Committee for Understanding and Respect)
Cc: Rodolfo Arevalo, President, Eastern Washington
Bill Chaves, Athletic Director, Eastern Washington
Arthur Vailas, President, Idaho State University
Jeff Tingey, Athletic Director, Idaho State University Royce Engstrom, President, University of Montana
Jim O'Day, Athletic Director, University of Montana
Waded Cruzado, President, Montana State University
Peter Fields, Athletic Director, Montana State University
John Haeger, President, Northern Arizona
Jim Fallis, Athletic Director, Northern Arizona
Kay Norton, President, Northem Colorado
Jay Hinrichs, Athletic Director, Northern Colorado
Wim Wiewel, President, Portland State University
Torre Chisholm, Athletic Director, Portland State University
Alexander Gonzalez, President, California State University, Sacramento Terry Wanless, Athletic Director, California State University, Sacramento
F. Ann Millner, President, Weber State
Jerry Bovee, Athletic Director, Weber State
SPIRIT LAKE SIOUX TRIBE
RESOLUTION NO. A05-11-174
WHEREAS, the Spirit Lake Tribe of Indians is a federally recognized American Indian tribe governed by a revised Constitution dated May 5, 1960, approved by Acting Commissioner, Bureau of Indian Affairs, July 14, 1961, and subsequently amended July 17, 1969; May 3, 1974; April 16, 1976; May4, 1981; and August 19, 1996; and approved by the Commissioner, Bureau of Indian Affairs;
WHEREAS, the Constitution of the Spirit Lake Tribe generally authorizes and Empowers the Spirit Lake Tribal Council to engage in activities on behalf of and in the interest of the health and welfare and benefit of the Tribe and of the enrolled members thereof; and
WHEREAS, the Tribal Council, by and through Resolution No. A05-09-191, and pursuant to the vote of the people who chose the Tribal Council Representatives, affirmatively approved and supported UND's use of the name and imagery of the Fighting Sioux, and by overwhelming support of the people of this Tribe, entrusted UND with the responsibility of working with this Tribe to increase the number of Native American graduates from SP11it Lake and create a Native American program on the UND campus which would bring respect and understanding amongst all students, faculty and staff at UND; and
WHEREAS, the Tribal Council firmly abides by its Traditional Dakota Ceremonials and highly respects the Dakota Chiefs who gave their word ceremoniously with the sacred pipe and thereby consented to the 1867 Treaty with the U.S. Government, rendenng this ceremonial act irreversible in accordance with Dakota Tradition; and
without this Tribe's authorization, consent and without discussion, it is understood that the Natlonal Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education, and others have issued sanctions, made plans to retire the honorable name Fighting Sioux, and have commenced lawsuits for enforcement;
WHEREAS, the Spirit Lake Tribal Council recognizes and approves the actions of the Spirit Lake Committee for Understanding and Respect, who were very instrumental in the initiation of the 2009 Tribal Referendum to keep the Fighting Sioux name at UND and who have provided testimony on Spirit Lake's behalf at the North Dakota state legislature successfully achieving the adoption of (HB#1263), making it unlawful to retire the Sioux name at UND.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Tribal Council hereby authorizes the Committee for Understanding and Respect to act on behalf of the Spirit Lake Tribe to seek outside resources and support to defend Spirit Lake's Voice and
Resolution No. A05-11-174
Page 2 of 2
UND's right to retain the Fighting Sioux Name. The authorized Membership consists of the following Spirit Lake Enrolled Members: Eunice Davidson, Renita DeLorme, LaVonne Alberts, Alex Yankton, Joseph Lawrence, Sr., John D. Chaske, Sr., and Frank Black Cloud. The Spirit Lake Tribal Council authorizes and appoints the following lawyers as well as their agents and assigns, the right to defend Resolution A05-09-191 so that the University of North Dakota shall remain known as the Fighting Sioux: Jerry Rice, Stephen Behm, and Reed Soderstrom. This authorization and appointment is conditioned that no tribal funds shall be utilized for payrnent of attorney fees or any other expenses incurred. This authorization and appointment includes said attorneys to proceed or intervene in any tribal, state or federal court on behalf of the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe as a named party in any manner they deem appropriate so that UND shall remain known as the Fighting Sioux.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this authorization and appointment includes going forward on a statewide initiated measure on behalf of the Spirit Lake Tribe.
We, the undersigned, Chairman and Secretary ofthe Tribal Council do hereby certify that the Tribal Council is composed of six (6) members of whom five (5) were present, constituting a quorum, for a meeting duly and regularly called, noticed, convened and held on the 2nd day of SEPTEMBER, 2011, and approved this resolution by the affirmative vote of four (4) in favor, none (0) opposing, none (0) abstaining and none (0) absent. (The Secretary-Treasurer does not vote and the Chairman votes only in case of a tie)
SPIRIT LAKE TRIBE
RESOLUTION NO. A05-09-191
WHEREAS, the Spirit Lake Tribe of Indians is a federally recognized Indian tribe acting under a revised Constitution dated May 5, 1960, approved by the Acting Commissioner, Bureau of Indian Affairs, July 14, 1961, and as subsequently amended which amendments were approved by the Commissioner, Bureau of Indian Affairs; and August 19, 1996; and
WHEREAS, the Spirit Lake Tribal Council (hereinafter the Tribal Council) is empowered to engage in activities on behalf of and in the interest of the welfare and benefit of the Tribe and of the enrolled members thereof; and
WHEREAS, the Tribal Council is aware that the University of North Dakota (UND) must acquire namesake approval from both Standing Rock and Spirit Lake Sioux Tribal Councils to continue utilizing the Fighting Sioux name and logo; and
WHEREAS, the Tribal Council Representatives are chosen by the people of Spirit Lake therefore the Tribal Council recognizes the Spirit Lake People as the ultimate authority to decide on important issues that affect the Tribe; and
WHEREAS, in April 2009, the Tribal Council authorized a referendum for the enrolled tribal members, and a significant majority of the membership voted in favor of allowing UND to continue using the Fighting Sioux name and logo; and
WHEREAS, the Tribal Council firmly abides by its Traditional Dakota Ceremonials and highly respects the Dakota Chiefs who gave their word ceremoniously with the sacred pipe and thereby consented to the 1867 Treaty with the U.S. Government, rendering this ceremonial act irreversible in accordance with Dakota Tradition.
WHEREAS, the Tribal Council has gone on record officially accepting the election results of April 23, 2009 for the University of North Dakota to continue use of the Fighting Sioux name and logo and the Tribal Council concurs with the wishes of the Spirit Lake people.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Tribal Council hereby AMENDS TRIBAL RESOLUTION NO. ,405-09-186 and affirmatively approves and supports UND's use of the current nickname and related imagery, and hereby confirms Spirit Lake Tribe's full permission for UND to continue using the Fighting Sioux name and logo and the duration of this authorization shall be perpetual commencing on October 1, 2009.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that UND is entrusted with the responsibility ofworldng cooperatively with the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe to increase the number of Native American graduates from Spirit Lake and to create a Native American program on the UND campus which will bring about an air of respect and understanding amongst all students, faculty, and staff at
SPIRIT LAKE TRIBE
RESOLUTION NO. A05-09-191
I, the undersigned as Secretary-Treasurer of the Tribal Council, do hereby certi%r that the Tribal Council is composed of six (6) members of whom six (6) were present, constituting a quorum for a Special Meeting duly called and convened on this 10 day of SEPTEMBER, 2009, and approved this resolution by an affirmative vote of four (4) in favor, none (0) opposed, and none
(0) absent. (the Secretary-Treasurer does not vote and the Chairman votes only in case of a tie.)
Friday, January 28, 2011
SCHMID - LOOKING BACK FROM THE LEFT COAST:
JANUARY 28 2011
By Schmid on January 28, 2011 at 11:44 am No Comments Yet
Estimates of spring flooding were raised for the majority of the state. Those for Devils Lake were particularly grim. The National Weather Service spring flood outlook for Devils Lake shows about a 70 percent chance the lake will rise three feet higher than its current level. Estimates for the James, Souris and Missouri rivers were also raised.
I don't know much about hockey (and am about to prove it), but a description of Andrew
Panzarella, who will be joining the UND hockey team in the fall, left me quite impressed. Panzarella is a defenseman who has played in the U.S. Hockey League the last four years and is now with the Waterloo Blackhawks. He must be a good student of the game since he has spent 615 minutes (over 10 hours) studying it . . . from the penalty box. His coach says, "He has a mean streak as long as the day." Panzarella would have been right at home in the best hockey movie of all-time, "Slap Shot" starring Paul Newman.
Several bills to protect UND's Fighting Sioux nickname are before the Legislature. A House Education Committee hearing on the bills lasted more than eight hours and at its peak was attended by over 150 people. There was emotional testimony from both sides, although an AP article said "Supporters of the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo greatly outnumbered its critics."
The UND Fighting Sioux issue has a significant new twist. The Commissioner of the Summit
League said it was UND that caused the League to insist the nickname issue be resolved before
UND's membership could be considered. In other words, UND used the League to pressure the State Board of Higher Ed to resolve the issue. Commissioner Douple went on to say "he would have had no other good reason to do it (offer an ultimatum on the nickname)." UND later turned its back on the Summit League and joined the Big Sky Conference.
A UND spokesman said President Robert Kelley "categorically denies" the Commissioner's statement. A GF Herald editorial says that, while evidence in the matter is scant, "Kelley has earned the benefit of the doubt."
SPIRIT LAKE TRIBE
PO 359 • FOR' ND 38335 • 701-766-4221 . —
Dr. Bernard Franklin P.O. Box 6222
Indianapolis. m 46206-6222
July 7, 2011
Dear Dr. Bernard Franklin and NCAA Sanctioning Committee.
A 'hua! (Greetings) from Spirit Lake Tribe North Dakota!
The purpose of this letter is to express to you our sincere desire to have representation of the Spirit Lake Tribe at the table during the discussion between the NCAA and the State of North Dakota concerning the use of our name- the Fighting Sioux - at the University of North Dakota. Although much has been on the subject in the media. it is all distorted and biased. For decades, the general public listened to the media espouse the "official" position of Spirit Lake, only to see that position trounced in an actual election. As the elected leaders of this tribe we are writing to you on behalf of the 67% of the voting population of Spirit Lake Tribe and the Tribal Council that support the use of the Fighting Sioux by UNI).
The NCAA has always presented and encouraged cultural diversity within its organization. As proud members of the Dakota Sioux Tribe which is the only Sioux Tribe within the boundaries of the State of North Dakota. we appreciate that effort and wc request to be included and present during the scheduled discussion of the lilture of the Fighting Sioux name and logo.