Fighting Sioux name is offensive to many

High Plains Reader, March 11, 1999

To the editor,

I've followed the UND name change thing for around 40 years, on and off. When I went to UND, right out of high school, the "Fighting Sioux" thing sounded right, and I was neither mature or traveled enough to know any different. I'm truly sorry about that.

Enclosed find a book of matches from the University bookstore. I've had them since 1958-'59 or 1960. If you will look at the drawing of the "Fighting Sioux" on the matchbook, you can quickly note that this is not a complimentary illustration. If my memory is close to correct, he was also called "Si Sioux."

After leaving UND and seeing more country than Eastern North Dakota, I eventually came around to seeing just what the Native Americans, African American, et all were talking about.

I read the letters in the March 4 HPR, written by Ira Taken Alive and Holly Annis. I agree totally with what they had to say.

My point is, if the various tribes of the Sioux Nation resent "Fighting Sioux" as the mascot of UND, and what the name changed, that should absolutely be enough. For the Student Senate, student president, and the students to have the arrogance to believe that a vote by the respective bodies should make any different is more than I can understand.

Our Native American population finds the term "Fighting Sioux" to be offensive. Period! I believe that if the school doesn't have the cojones to step in and take care of this, then the North Dakota Legislature should do so. Change the name.

Terry Olson
Valley City