Indian Nicknames & Logos

'Fighting Sioux' Nickname & Logo By The Numbers

By Sam Johnson

     “It’s the will of the people...”
     “Overwhelmingly, Native Americans and regular North Dakota citizens....don’t want the name to go away...”
    “The majority of North Dakotans want to keep the name....”

    Hmmmm. Okay
    I’ve been thinking about statements like these, and note that they never seem to have any actual facts, data, statistics, or other “hard evidence” to support their claims.
    It seems these over-generalized attention-getting statements are usually the result of personal opinion, based primarily on a small sample of like-minded opinions from the speaker’s friends, family, coffee clatch, drinking buddies, or political or ideological party.
    So, I thought I’d try to gather some hard evidence to see if these statements could be supported. (Maybe you can add some of your own facts to these columns).
    Here’s what I’ve gathered so far in  “hard facts”:

Those Who Want To Keep the UND "Fighting Sioux" NIckname & Logo:

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-- 67% of the Spirit Lake Tribe Members who voted on this issue April 2009
-- 10 North Dakota Legislative House Education Committee Members
-- 65 North Dakota Legislative House Members
-- 1 UND University Senate Member (The Senate includes UND faculty, staff, student and administration representatives.)

Those Who Want to Transition Away from the UND Nickname & Move On:

-- The Standing Rock Tribal Council (Governmental body of elected members).
-- 33% of the Spirit Lake Tribe Members who voted on this issue April 2009
-- 5 North Dakota Legislative House Education Committee Members
-- 28 North Dakota Legislative House Members
-- 44 UND University Senate Members (UND faculty, staff, student & administration reps.)
-- The ND State Board of Higher Education (Oversees state university system).
-- UND Committee Honoring History and Traditions Task Group (Unanimous)
-- UND Student Senate (the elected student government
-- 21 separate Native American-related programs, departments, and organizations at UND which signed a statement opposing the continued use of the nickname and logo.

     And then there are numerous non-UND or North Dakota groups and organizations who have declared or voted their support to transition away from the logo and nickname, including the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, the National Congress of American Indians, the National Affairs Commission, the Civil Rights Committee, and the American Psychological Association, just to name a few.
    So, what is the conclusion?
    Maybe it can be summed up best by writer and philosopher Aldous Huxley who said: "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored."
    Or, perhaps the answer can be found in the concept of “willful blindness” which holds that  -- “there are none so blind as those who will not see.”

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