Spirit Lake Sioux group heading to UND hockey gameMembers of the Spirit Lake Sioux tribe say they have up to 100 tickets for a weekend exhibition hockey game at the University of North Dakota, and they include supporters of the UND’s Fighting Sioux nickname.
FORT TOTTEN, N.D. (AP) — Members of the Spirit Lake Sioux tribe say they have up to 100 tickets for a weekend exhibition hockey game at the University of North Dakota, and they include supporters of the UND’s Fighting Sioux nickname.
John Chaske is a member of the committee planning to make the trip to the Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks for Sunday’s game.
“I’m in favor of the nickname as long as it honors our people and does nothing disrespectful to them,” Chaske said. “I think there’s actually a silent majority in favor of it, but not many people seem to want to step forward on it.”
UND is planning to display tribal flags during the pre-game ceremonies to honor the Native American people and veterans of Spirit Lake and Standing Rock reservations. It is offering transportation for tribal elders and veterans.
Standing Rock Tribal Chairman Ron His Horse Is Thunder, who opposes the nickname, has said UND is trying to make it appear as if it’s honoring the tribes when that’s not the case.
A settlement with the NCAA requires UND to gain approval from the Spirit Lake and Standing Rock tribal councils by the end of November 2010 to continue using the nickname without penalties.
Chaske said he would like to sit down and talk about the issue.
“There’s always going to be a certain amount of prejudice in this stuff, but we’d just like to talk,” he said. “And another thing we need is a better education of the Sioux people. We need to create an avenue to make positive things happen.”