Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Searching for Answers: Sick of the Nickname Controversy

Earlier Grittysquirrels did a post on this. He is obviously for the nickname as he attends the University of North Dakota. Me? Well I was against it for numerous reasons, but recently I read a letter to the editor in the Bismarck Tribune about the issue; it shed some new light for me and now I am neutral on the whole issue of Native American Mascots.

I am getting really sick of this dispute between all of the schools and the NCAA. We're going to be hearing about this for a long, long time, even after UND has to change their name, that's if they do to say the least.

Here's the link to the letter written to the Trib:

The letter is written by Mr. Mato Iyotaka, a member of the Standing Rock Tribe in south central North Dakota.

He brings up some valid points and some interesting remarks:
"I am also proud to say that I am a Native American, but to hear so many people making this Fighting Sioux nickname an issue makes me wonder what's really going on. Is this issue really as life-altering as some of them make it, or something else? Maybe it's a political crutch, or a reason to drop out of school because their grades aren't up to par, or maybe they've been victimized by racism sometime in their life - what better way to get some revenge? Or maybe it's as simple as they don't even know why."

The comments right there says it all. Maybe the tribes just wanted some attention? Do they really offend these people? Well, I don't know, I am not a Native American so I couldn't tell you. But maybe it's just an excuse to get away from the problems that lie on the reservations. Maybe it's nothing at all, and they just feel like they want to be a part of something, so they want something in return from these universities in order to keep the name.

"A recent meeting on the topic at the UND campus attracted 40 natives, four of whom where Sioux, so how many of us are really offended by it? Six of eight districts on our reservation voted for UND to keep the name, but our chairman choose to ignore this fact, so what does this say about his opinion of people?"

Maybe someone should tell the NCAA about this? Looks like a we have some hypocrites here, people saying UND is greedy, when in fact they don't let the people speak for themselves.

All in all, the nickname issue is being overblown and I am sick and tired of it. Why can't everyone just move along with their lives. We have murderers, rapists, illegal immigrants, a war going on, and an energy crisis going in our country, but that doesn't have as many peoples attention as this nickname issue does. But this discussion is long over due and I think it's time we focus our attention on a new set of problems.


grittysquirrels said...

there's bigtime "nickname fatigue" going on on our campus right now. At this point I am ready to move on and become the roughriders or the cavalry or whatever they want to change their name to. This has gone on way too long and it's time to just move on.

Ron His Horse is Thunder isn't going to change his mind so we should just change sooner than later.

It will be interesting to see if they miss the nickname when they're not being recognized in such a way by UND and their students are held to the same standards as everyone else and they don't receive all the "please forget about the nickname funding".

stephen a said...

Personally I think some of it is the tribal leaders are trying to distract some people from the more important problems on the reservations: the alcoholism, unemployment, suicide rates, etc. But it kind of becomes a chicken/egg thing. Does the nickname make Indians feel bad abotu themselves so they have to drink and stuff, or are they really just trying to not focus on the real problems.

Also, one of my teachers brought up a good point: A lot of the people, Indians nonwithstanding, who seem to be against the nickname here at the school are not from North Dakota, whereas a lot of people for it are.