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Let the Sioux decide
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It probably isn’t really “ironic” anymore, because it has become so common place to insult those people we allegedly are “protecting,” and that is certainly what is happening in the northern Great Plains where some folk heroes are being shuttled aside in the name of political correctness.
The University of North Dakota has announced that it will go back to its Fighting Sioux mascot and sports identification, regardless of threats from a national athletic association.
As the Associated Press reported this week: “A state law that required the university to use the nickname and a logo that shows the profile of an American Indian warrior was repealed last year. But late Tuesday, supporters of the name filed petitions demanding that the issue be put to a statewide vote.
“University President Robert Kelley said the school decided to use the name and logo to reaffirm its respect for the referendum process.
“The school had stopped using the name and logo when the law was repealed. But under the referendum process detailed in the North Dakota Constitution, the pro-nickname law will remain in force while Secretary of State Al Jaeger reviews the petitions.
“The NCAA has told UND that continued use of the nickname and logo will expose the school to sanctions. If the nickname and logo are kept, the university won’t be allowed to host postseason sports tournaments, and its athletes may not wear uniforms with the logo or nickname in postseason play.”
North Dakotans — including members of the Sioux — recognize that this mascot is presented out of admiration for the legacy of the Sioux in our culture.
The Sioux are still very much a part of our nation, of our current social order and of the North Dakota society, so settle this in a very simple manner.
Go to the Sioux officials. Let them decide. If they like having their identity and cultural legacy tied to the school, settle this once and for all.
The Sioux people, not the NCAA, should make this decision. And the NCAA should respect them enough to allow them to make it.
 — Chuck Smith