Top 10 Ironies of the Weekend of October 4th - 7th, 2001

by Jim Grijalva

Two headlines about one of our community's biggest and most important weekends presented an interesting irony, "The Fighting Sioux" and "A Peaceful Rally." In this spirit, and in support of popular culture, here are my Top 10 Ironies of the Weekend:

(10) Herald editors claim the high moral ground by pointing to the single time the editorial board (vaguely) supported changing UND's nickname, but in the same issue provide big green "GO SIOUX" posters displaying the Indian-head logo;

(9) the UND administration urges the community to listen and learn from both sides, but UND administrators are repeatedly seen at arena events and are noticeably absent at the Northern Plains Conference on American Indian Team Names and Logos;

(8) supporters claim the nickname and logo honor Indian people, but a local businessman creates and sells T-shirts depicting an obscene act of bestiality between a bison and a cartoonish Indian figure;

(7) North Dakota's public schools and universities are substantially underfunded, but thousands of dollars are spent on parties for elementary, secondary and college students to encourage logo loyalty;

(6) the Dakota Student newspaper quotes a top UND administrator as citing one tribal council resolution suggesting the possibility of supporting UND's name if reforms are implemented, but omits any reference to the nine tribal governments that have enacted tribal law unequivocally requesting UND drop the name and logo;

(5) in the same article, the UND administrator reportedly says the nickname issue doesn't appear to be a human rights issue, but at the logo conference a speaker describes repeated United Nations declarations since 1976 that human rights include the right to protection of cultural identity;

(4) REA Inc. representatives claim an arena statue honors Sioux people, but surround it with security guards to keep the people it honors away;

(3) the Herald's story on how the statue honors Sioux culture reports "American Indians played lead roles in Friday morning's dedication ... (w)ith drumming, dancing and singing, they provided the entertainment;"

(2) a wealthy UND benefactor hints at large future "gifts, depending on the management of the University;"

and the No. 1 Irony of the Weekend:

(1) $100 million can buy a building, but it can't buy a mark in the win column.