Reaction from North Dakota

In addition to the near unanimous indictments of Dartmouth Athletic Director Josie Harper’s letter to the community on Monday coming from college sports websites and liberal-leaning Deadspin blog, a native North Dakotan and UND fan chimes in on the Bismarck-Mandan Blog, giving a mid-west cultural context to the controversy:

I was surprised by Josie Harper’s letter apologizing for the “pain” caused by hosting the UND Fighting Sioux at their hockey tournament. I had no idea that Native Americans were present in such great numbers at Dartmouth and were so easily offended by our state’s tribute to the brave spirit of the Sioux warriors.

Right now North Dakota is under attack by a select few out-of-state advocates of political correctness. They claim our logo, drawn by a Native American artist, is “hostile and abusive.” I invite them to actually visit us sometime. Our highway signs and Highway Patrol cars have Native American figures on them. The hospital near my house has an area devoted to burning sage and other traditional Native American healing practices. UND itself hosts dozens of programs for Native Americans including the INMED program, which trains one fifth of the nation’s Indian physicians, as well as cultural programs, eight publications, and seven student organizations.

The only oppression I’ve heard of is of Native students who don’t mind the nickname. They’re treated like the Midwest’s version of an “Uncle Tom” by the PC police. Archie Fool Bear, chair of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe judicial committee, says his tribe’s leadership doesn’t represent the vast majority of tribal members. He said, “We went to a hockey game, and they talked about the courage and integrity of the Sioux people. We looked at each other like, ‘Wow, we don’t even honor our Sioux warriors or veterans like this on the reservation.’ ” How do the politically correct crowd honor this tribal elder? By trying to oust him from the tribal government.

We’d be just fine if a bunch of out of state PC liberals would quit trying to tell us how things need to be out here in flyover country. Perhaps if our team showed up named the UND Brave White Men we’d be more welcome. Then again, every single special interest riding Josie Harper’s politically correct bandwagon would then have a unifying reason to apologize for North Dakota’s painful presence. In the mean time, the only place we’ll apply real pain is on the ice, where it belongs…and actually exists.

The author has sent a draft of the letter to The Dartmouth, though with the publishing term ended it is unlikely to appear in print.

Say Anything, North Dakota’s “most popular political blog,” posts a commentary that includes the UND mascot graphic as well as the logos appearing on ND State Police Cruisers and the State Department of Transportation’s road signs.