Sitting Bull descendent refuses permission for statue

October 1, 2001

Charles Kupchella, President
University of North Dakota
P.O. Box 8193
Grand Forks, ND 58502

Dear President Kupchella:

I write this letter to protest what I understand to be the University's intent to dedicate a statue of Sitting Bull in front of the new Englestadt Arena. By way of introduction, I am a direct lineal descendent of Sitting Bull. I am also an elected representative to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council.

As you know, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has let their position be known on the school's nickname and logo issue. The Tribe is on record to oppose both the nickname and logo. The Tribe has stated our position to you personally and with a Resolution in opposition. Now it has come to my attention that you intend to bring Sitting Bull on campus without seeking permission from the family.

As an institution of higher education one would assume that the University is committed to an understanding that encompasses all possible issues, especially with the current nickname and logo issue. Yet, UND continues to display a lack of sensitivity to Indian issues and respect to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and its members. Again, it was wrong for UND to assume that Sitting Bull would not have heirs or not have people he left behind. It is disrespectful to not include family members in decisions that affect our family. We exist and demand to be consulted when involving our relatives.

You do not have permission from myself and our family to be utilizing Sitting Bull in any capacity, either in name or in statue. I respectfully ask that the statue be removed and not be utilized by the University.

Sincerely,

Isaac Dog Eagle
Descendent of Sitting Bull

 

P.O. Box D / Fort Yates, North Dakota 53538
Phone: 701-854-7201 or 701-854-7202 / Fax: 701-854-7299