I attended a meeting in Grand Forks on November 7, 2014 about a new nickname for UND. I was greatly disappointed in the proceedings. As a true full blood Dakota Fighting Sioux, my battle scars have not been allowed to heal.
As recently as 6 months ago, our wounds were re-opened again in a so-called summit of “Creating an Atmosphere of Respect” where only voices of opposition were allowed to attend and speak. The Sioux Indian supporters were not even shown enough respect to even be invited.
Students who have the gall to even remember what use to be are being forced to take sensitivity sessions. Where is the sensitivity to those who supported the name and image or the Sioux who fought hard to keep it? To use the words of President Kelley “We must create an atmosphere of sensitivity”, the road should go both ways.
In the Grand Forks meeting, I believe all the facilitators and those in attendance in the audience were and are honorable people, but they were asked to perform an impossible task.
They were told to come up with a new nickname that would instill the same pride and honor that the old one has done for 80 plus years.
I truly doubt that can never happen, but the number one question was not even allowed to be asked, “Is this the appropriate time?’
Why the need to hurry?
I ask this because we as actual Sioux people of North Dakota won every battle only to lose the war. The citizens of North Dakota were asked to retire the name and image or kill the University. Every voice to speak in support of the name and image was attacked, ridiculed, slandered, and then minimized in press releases. They are the majority of North Dakotans!
I do not wish to go through all the deceit that took place over the past number of years, the name and image has been retired – enough said on that subject – but there are thousands of us North Dakotans (Indians and Non-Indians) that are still smarting and hurting from the loss of our identity. It came about through deceit, distortions, and lies.
To adopt a new nickname at this point in time does nothing but rip open old wounds and pour salt into them. There is absolutely no good reason for a new nickname at this point in time. The name and image are gone, “Give North Dakota a time to heal”. No new name at this time!