Going to North Dakota

The U can take an immediate step toward creating a more accepting environment.

As the University makes strides to improve its departure rate, it should consider why departure rates are so high among different students. The departure rate of American Indians is more than twice that of white and Asian students, according to the Institute of Research and Reporting. Perhaps many American Indians still feel hostility toward them ” that education is still primarily for everyone else.

The University can take an immediate step toward creating a more accepting and understanding environment for American Indians. The University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux hosts our Minnesota Gophers men’s hockey team Dec. 9 and 10. The University should enter the contest under protest of North Dakota’s use of the “Fighting Sioux.”

Minnesota will host North Dakota on Jan. 20 and 21. Clearly, when North Dakota comes to Minneapolis, the University should do as St. Cloud State does and require that North Dakota play the contest in entirely black uniforms without its logo. This way the athletes would not be punished, and Minnesota could maintain its stance that North Dakota’s team name is not conducive to an accepting educational environment. Unless one has read about the deep and tangled history of North Dakota’s logo fight, the fight for symbolism may seem quite inert on the surface. But the reality is that the logo fight is yet another issue North Dakota and the rest of America still have to resolve. The genocide that took place more than 100 years ago continues to take place in the form of cultural assassination. A quick Google search of “North Dakota controversy” or “Fighting Sioux controversy” reveals thousands of Web sites dedicated to fleshing out the issue.

As it stands, the University’s silence on the issue is tantamount to accepting the bigotry and hatred that has spewed out of North Dakota in particular, along with the rest of the United States, toward Native Americans. The University must take a stand.