North Dakota vote lets schools scrap Fighting Sioux nickname

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Jacie Estes, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. Jacie Estes

    Jacie Estes Medical Marijuana Advocate

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    It's about time this was done. Interesting that sports sanctions tipped the scale.

    Voters approved a measure Tuesday that lets the University of North Dakota dump its controversial Fighting Sioux nickname and avoid NCAA sanctions, and advocates for retiring the moniker expressed relief that the years-old battle appeared to be nearing its end.

    The issue has been simmering for decades, dividing the state, sports fans, alumni and even area tribes. But it boiled over seven years ago when UND was placed on a list of schools with American Indian nicknames that the NCAA deemed hostile and abusive. Those colleges were told to dump the names or risk sanctions against their athletic teams.


    http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/no...cle_c9ffceef-6899-51b0-8169-a272335688c5.html
     
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  3. Jacie Estes

    Jacie Estes Medical Marijuana Advocate

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    FARGO, N.D. -- North Dakota voters overwhelmingly decided Tuesday to let the state's flagship university dump a controversial Fighting Sioux nickname that sparked threats of NCAA sanctions, ending -- at least temporarily -- a dispute simmering for decades that divided sports fans, alumni and even tribes.

    A settlement agreement with the NCAA called for UND to retire the nickname unless it received approval from both the Standing Rock and Spirit Lake Sioux tribes by the end of 2010. Only Spirit Lake passed a resolution supporting the name. Standing Rock has not held a vote.


    http://espn.go.com/college-sports/s...vote-let-school-scrap-fighting-sioux-nickname
     
  4. The Farm

    The Farm Active Member

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    Progress finally.
     
  5. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    Best professional team name to kill off, and soon: Washington Redskins.
     
  6. Jacie Estes

    Jacie Estes Medical Marijuana Advocate

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    Well, the term "scalp" offended the good Christian women of the community and they asked that another term be found to describe these things. So, the trappers and hunters began using the term "redskin"...they would tell the owner that they had bearskin, deer skins....and "redskins." The term came from the bloody mess that one saw when looking at the scalp...thus the term "red"...skin because it was the "skin" of an "animal" just like the others that they had...so, it became "redskins".

    http://www.aics.org/mascot/redskins.html
     
  7. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    Why don't they call some team, Milwaukee Smallpox in the Blankets?
     
  8. Ada

    Ada New Member

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    When I was in the south west, I asked some of my native American friends what they thought about sports teams with native American names and themes. My friends liked it and said it made them feel proud.
     
  9. Nova

    Nova New Member

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    Maybe so, but at least one Sioux tribe in North Dakota had a chance to approve the nickname and declined to put the matter to a vote. So obviously not all Native Americans feel as your friends did.

    The Florida State University plays a royalty to the Seminole nation for the use of its name. This arrangement was recently reapproved by the Seminoles themselves, which is why FSU is allowed to keep their nickname.

    So it varies. But I think if a college is going to borrow a nickname, the least they can do is get permission. And words like "squaw" and "redskin" are offensive by any measure; there's no excuse for the Washington pro football team not making a change.
     
  10. Ada

    Ada New Member

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    Not disagreeing with you. I just find it all very interesting.

    Some of my friends are Papago. This translates into, roughly, 'bean eaters.' Their name was changed to Tohono O'odham because Papago was deemed to be insulting. As I recall, this occurred while I was out west. I asked my Papago friends what they thought about it. Here are some paraphrased responses:

    "White people will call us whatever they want to. If they want to call us Tohono O'odham, I don't care. I will always be Papago."

    "What's wrong with eating beans? Beans are good for you. Why is that insulting?"

    "No one asked me what I thought before they changed who I was. I am Papago."

    "White people always think they know what is best for us."

    I also asked them about being called Native American. This conversation was with a group of friends at a party; Apache, Navaho and Papago. Again, paraphrased to the best of my recollection:

    "I am a native or an American. Or an Indian. I don't like Native American"

    "Why not just American. Why do they always want to keep us separate?"

    It's just interesting to me. I am not Native American so I won't presume to know what Native Americans find insulting and what they don't. I guess the point of my posts was to show that not all feel the same.
     
  11. Nova

    Nova New Member

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    Ada, it seems like there are two issues here. One is what Native groups and individuals call themselves. I have friends who prefer Native Americans and others who are fine with "Indians". I figure they have a right to choose their own terms, just as you and I do.

    The other issue, the one the NCAA is addressing is the historical appropriation of names and concepts by non-Indian groups for entertainment purposes. (BTW, the NCAA can't force a school to do anything. What the NCAA can do is withhold financial incentives such as the right to host basketball tournaments and the like.)

    Originally, the NCAA said all nicknames based on Native American culture would have to go. But then Florida State (Seminoles) and other universities pointed out that they had longstanding relationships with the Indian nations in question, so the NCAA backed down and allowed Native nicknames as long as the groups in question agreed. No agreement was reached with the Sioux in North Dakota, so UND is making a change. And rightfully so.

    But you point is correct that there is probably no universal agreement. And in my home town, the local high school still uses the nickname "Indians", which is kind of appropriate since the school building sits across the street from reservation land. I'm sure the school would change in a moment if the local Indian nation complained.

    So there you go.
     
  12. Ada

    Ada New Member

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    Good, it sounds like we're on the same page. I'm very glad because you are one of my favorite posters :D
     
  13. Jacie Estes

    Jacie Estes Medical Marijuana Advocate

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    The people I know from both Spirit Lake and Standing Rock are happy to see the name go. One of my professors, who is an enrolled member of Standing Rock, spoke in class of the demeaning nature of Indian mascots such as Chief Wahoo and Chief Noc-A-Homa. He also spoke to the issue of the Tomahawk chop in Turner Field and how it was inappropriate. I used the example of having a team called The Moiles and the halftime display could be circumcisions performed on the field.

    It is upsetting that Indian caricatures are acceptable yet teams named Honkies or any other non-Indian-centric cultures isn't.

    The Spirit Lake tribe approved the nickname in 2010, but the other tribe— Standing Rock — never took a vote. That's why Tuesday's election was being closely watched in Sioux County as the first — and possibly only — opportunity for members of that tribe to speak in unison.

    ****
    Erich Longie, an enrolled member of the Spirit Lake tribe who has been an outspoken critic against the nickname, said UND T-shirts and other giveaways encouraged about two-thirds of 1,100 members of that tribe to endorse the name in 2009. He said only 70 people on the Spirit Lake reservation voted Tuesday.

    "They didn't have all the free stuff to pass out," Longie said. "It shows you how much people cared about the vote."


    http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/tr...cle_47974606-6368-57b2-9704-99644f8d275e.html
     
  14. Nova

    Nova New Member

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    But on the other hand, Jacie, the Seminole Nation is as much a part of Florida history as gators (U of F), hurricanes (Miami), and bulls (South Florida). If the Seminoles themselves have made peace with the usage of their name by FSU, why should it bother the rest of us? "Sammy Seminole", the mascot, is basically a gymnast who rides in on a horse and then does flips the entire length of the field. The "Sammy" part is a good indication that the mascot isn't actually a part of any Native American tradition.

    (Full disclosure: I attended FSU for two years, but if they changed their nickname, it wouldn't bother me.)
     
  15. Nova

    Nova New Member

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    BTW, I think the U. of Virginia Cavaliers or the New England Patriots or the Dallas Cowboys or the Green Bay Packers or the San Francisco 49ers or the U. of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors are better points of comparison than "the Honkies".

    With the exception of "Redskins" (which everyone here has deplored) the nicknames used aren't deliberately derogative. (AFAIK. I don't know what all they do up in North Dakota.)
     
  16. Jacie Estes

    Jacie Estes Medical Marijuana Advocate

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    The word Sioux is a derivation of nadouessioux which means little snakes, this is a French derivation of an Ojibwa word. The correct terminology is Oceti Sakowin, which means 'Seven Council Fires'. That is how it is done up in North and South Dakota. To the lay person, who is a casual observer, the word Sioux is innocuous. To those who speak Lakota, Nakota or Dakota and even to the Ojibwa, Sioux has a different connotation. People don't know what they don't know.

    http://archive.itvs.org/homeland/lakota.html
     
  17. Jacie Estes

    Jacie Estes Medical Marijuana Advocate

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    The word honkie is one of several terms used in the pro vs. con argument. Another is wasicu, the meaning being 'one who chews the fat' or 'greedy'. It's about perspective. :)

    I used the term honkie to show that 'little snakes' is as offensive as honkie.
     
  18. Ada

    Ada New Member

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    BBM

    I kind of like that one, though :D
     
  19. Jacie Estes

    Jacie Estes Medical Marijuana Advocate

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    The issue, which has divided the state for decades, boiled over seven years ago when UND was placed on a list of schools with American Indian nicknames that the NCAA deemed hostile and abusive. Those colleges were told to dump the names or risk sanctions against their athletic teams.

    Some schools quickly removed their American Indian-themed nicknames when faced with NCAA pressure, and others such as Florida State survived the edict by getting approval from namesake tribes.

    There was no such consensus in North Dakota.
    The Spirit Lake tribe approved the nickname in 2010, but the other tribe— Standing Rock — never took a vote. That's why Tuesday's election was being closely watched in Sioux County as the first — and possibly only — opportunity for members of that tribe to speak in unison.


    http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/tribe-quiet-voters-scrap-fighting-sioux-16562943
     
  20. Jacie Estes

    Jacie Estes Medical Marijuana Advocate

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  21. Nova

    Nova New Member

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    You're right, Jacie. We don't know what we don't know. I had no idea and I appreciate the information.

    If I remember correctly from Florida History class in 4th grade, the word "Seminole" means "runaway", the assumption being that the original Seminoles were exiles from the Creek nation in what is now Georgia. (Their numbers in Florida were further augmented by escaped slaves.)

    But the Seminoles managed to form a new nation and, while most were eventually relocated to Oklahoma, a few hundred retreated into the Everglades and were never defeated by the United States. IIRC some of their descendants were still technically "at war" with the U.S. when I was a kid. (This was merely a legal standing. I'm not suggesting Native Americans were committing acts of violence.)

    Per Wiki, the native term for the nation is Miccosukee, which may be why they don't care if FSU uses the term "Seminole", since it was never what they called themselves in the first place. (The nation uses the term today, at least for tourists, Seminole culture being a major attraction in South Florida.)
     

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