Letter to the editor
submitted to the Grand Forks Herald by Monique Vondall

Dear Mr. Jacobs:

It is not surprising that Mr. Englestad was feeling threatened by Native Americans. His letter to the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education is living proof that he, like Donald Trump before him, is noticing that Indian gaming is an economic advantage for those tribes that exercise their sovereign rights by developing gaming businesses on reservations.

It is no secret that tribes are required to negotiate with their respective (and I use that term loosely here) states in order to receive approval from the federal gaming commission (NIGC). He makes the mistake, however, of looking like a bigot when he should be embracing these tribes because there is nothing he can do to stop the power behind federal laws mandating tribal sovereign immunity.

His issue with the logo at the University of North Dakota is not stemmed from some far-fetched notion of honor, respect, and loyalty to the school, but from a deep-seeded hatred for the people that are most threatening to his business instincts. Take a long, hard look at the history of tribes in federal courthouses, fighting people like Engelstad and Trump. Trump has come to know that he cannot win this battle, despite the millions of dollars he may have to put into a long legal war that cannot change history. Engelstad should buck up and bite the bullet himself.

How horrid that this should all come to light on the eve of a nation celebrating a hero's birthday! Martin Luther King, Jr. would have had something to add to our fight for peace.

On another note, the hypocricy of giving an award from the Era Bell Thompson Cultural Center to the Strinden Center was an oxymoron. Citing that it helped to "promote diversity" on this campus leaves a bad taste in the mouths and a hand imprint on the cheeks of all Native American students on the UND campus. I respect M.C. Diop and always have. The award, however, was ludicrous. It just proves, once again, that money talks -- and you know the rest.

Monique L. Vondall