Community change after basketball incident is the bigger step forward

Our community has a long way to go understand cultural sensitivity.

JSSP Letter to Editor

The basketball incident highlights the work Jamestown needs to do to grow and be more welcoming to others. Jamestown Public Schools worked quickly with the situation. Many families question if the school system apologized to the families and fans. This is not just misbehaving children; those children learned the behavior and language from their parents and community.

The language and actions deeply offended and hurt families, fans, and players. Officials and school administrators should stop games when fans are unruly.

Our community has a long way to go understand cultural sensitivity. For example, Bison World does not have any formal tribal endorsement or a tribal board member. Bison World has a letter from a tribal employee stating that the project is interesting. None of the five North Dakota tribes have endorsed Bison World using Native American history as a draw. As a Native American, it is extremely offensive that another group is using Native American culture without direct tribal involvement.

Making a community change is the bigger step forward. I would encourage our school leaders, city council, mayor, county commissioners, chamber, university and other leaders to participate in cultural sensitivity training and engage in conversations with minority populations. It takes leadership from the top down throughout the city to show these actions are not tolerated and that Jamestown wants to be better and ready to grow as people and a community.

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