Letter from Keith Pounds

From: Keith and Michelle Pounds [mkpounds@bellsouth.net]
To: c_kupchella@und.nodak.edu-
Subject: Indian Mascots
Date: Monday, December 13, 1999 7:22 PM

Dear President Chuck Kupchella,

I am writing as the father of two children that presently attend our public schools system, and will eventually be attending the country's university system.

I am in full support of efforts to eliminate the UND "Fighting' Sioux" mascot, as well as all Racially Motivated Mascots that demean and dehumanize American Indian people.

Of particular importance seems to be how these images categorize Indian people as images of "the past," and ignore the thoughts and conditions of present day Indian issues - obvious, in the fact that educators most often ignore Indian requests to eliminate the incorrect images. Activists in support of eliminating these icons have warned that the images support ideas that Indian people no longer exist. I often wonder if the educators really thought that American Indians were a productive part of society, why are they the only culture demeaned with cartoon images that have long been too vulgar for other important members like Jews, Blacks and Hispanics.

In summation, it seems obvious that Educators, as well as students get so attached to these cartoon caricatures, that they really do feel like one cannot be a "real Indian" unless one looks, acts, and portrays like the mascot. A concept that is continuing the misunderstanding of Indian people even today, and supports reminiscenct ideas of "assimilation?"

Respectfully,

Keith Pounds
P.O. Box 1326
Bogalusa, La. 70427
(504)732-3484