FORT YATES, N.D. -- Who is responsible for the possible loss of the UND Fighting Sioux nickname and logo? Was it the anti-logo few? Was it the State Board of Higher Education? Was it the president of UND? Was it the Standing Rock tribal council?
Or was it us?
A great coach once told me, "Evil can flourish when good men do nothing." The blame lies on us all -- the vast number of Fighting Sioux supporters who stood by, idling, apathetic and fearful of racist and sell-out labels, and let it happen.
The divisive few gained their foothold and now have disrupted our progressive society.
The great majority of both Sioux nations and North Dakotans support the use of the logo, yet it will be eliminated soon if nothing is done.
Although many anti-logo activists may view this as a victory and the near end of their fight, I can tell them as being one the thousands of Standing Rock tribal members whose civil rights have been trampled on that this fight has just begun.
The movement has been successful in its petty cause of removing a logo, but at what cost?
Indian people's civil rights once again have been ignored, not only by the Standing Rock tribal leaders and the higher education board, but by anti-nickname activists as well.
Not one anti-nickname activist stood up for the real issues this debate revealed. Not one protested or screamed for his or her people's rights.
To the contrary, the activists fought tooth and nail to make sure those voices were silenced -- all due to a silly idea of some obscure Indian victory.
Political correctness has nothing to do with Sioux values; the activists either had forgotten or ignored the fact that we represent the exact opposite. But those whom the activists ignored will not forget.
It's now the responsibility of all the people of North Dakota, both Indian and non-Indian, to quit talking and start doing. This is the last act of the show; who will be in it?
It's amazing what one phone call or letter can accomplish. Imagine what 10,000 can do.
The name and logo will never die, because the real issues concerning them never were dealt with.
The people of Standing Rock will be heard one way or another.
If ever there was a time for North Dakotans to come together in unity, this is it. Common sense and democracy will prevail, but it will take everyone's efforts.
The truth will be revealed: The Sioux people are neither victims, hypocrites nor the enemies of North Dakota. It is the 21st century, and "We are all Fighting Sioux."
Steve Fool Bear
Fool Bear is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.
Links to the story - Developing ...
Wall Street Journal; University Loses Sioux Mascot War
Fan House; University of North Dakota's 'Fighting Sioux' Nickname, Logo Retired
Grand Forks Herald; Nickname fans hold rally at REA
Dickinson Press; Local have mixed reactions over UND nickname
Bismarck Tribune; UND campus resigned to the end of 'Sioux country'
Huffington Post; North Dakota Retires Fighting Sioux Nickname
Post Bulletin; UND loses Fighting Sioux nickname
ESPN.COM; Court, board decide to retire nickname
MPR NEWS; UND to stop using Fighting Sioux nickname by August
Fargo Forum; Gipp applauds decision to retire nickname
The Chronicle of Higher Education; North Dakota Supreme Court Rejects Appeal by 'Fighting Sioux' Supporters
New York Times; Fighting Sioux Nickname Retired
KXnet.com; Fighting Sioux Reaction
Fargo Hockey Examiner; University of North Dakota "Fighting Sioux" nickname retired
Bismarck Tribune; Former Sioux James Massen weighs in on the name change
Bismarck's James Massen, who played hockey for UND, agreed.
"It's where I wanted to go since I was 5 years old," Massen said. "Being a member of the Fighting Sioux was an absolute honor and a privilege. ... I was hoping and praying it would never change."
Travis Zajac played two seasons at the University of North Dakota, and was disappointed to hear that the team will be changing its "Fighting Sioux" nickname. The Associated Press reported Friday that a state Supreme Court ruling and Board of Higher Education decision have retired the name for good. The school will stop using the name in August.
"It kind of [stinks] because it's a great name, it's been the school's name for a while," Zajac said. "I felt proud wearing the Fighting Sioux jersey and carrying that tradition. There's a lot of tradition behind the hockey team and the school. I guess for that to be done it kind of [stinks]."
Zach Parise is also an alumnus of UND, which has seven national titles in men's ice hockey, and 14 WCHA championships. They have used the Fighting Sioux nickname since 1930.