The Dartmouth athletic director has apologized for the “pain” an upcoming hockey tournament will cause — and unforunately she isn’t talking about hard checks into the boards, but rather the hurt feelings that will result from the mere presence of the University of North Dakota team. The UND squad, you see, calls itself the “Fighting Sioux,” which is a big no-no in p.c. etiquette. “Let me state clearly that UND’s position is offensive and wrong,” writes Dartmouth’s Josie Harper.
There’s a basic question of manners here: It’s not possible to perform the duties of hockey-tournament host when you’re bashing one of your guests. The players and coaches on Dartmouth’s hockey team must feel deeply embarrassed.
An editorial in the Union Leader (of New Hampshire):
We don’t know how Harper reached that sweeping conclusion. Native Americans in North Dakota are not unanimous on the subject, but many support the nickname. North Dakota’s Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe approves of the nickname. Though the Standing Rock Sioux judicial committee officially rejected the name, Archie Fool Bear, the council’s chairman, has opposed the council’s vote, stating that most of his tribe supports the nickname. In 1968, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe officially adopted the University of North Dakota's president into the tribe and gave the university the right to use the Sioux name.
The president of the university’s Indian Association, who supports the nickname, resigned this month over the name. Most of the university’s 400 Native American students support or are indifferent to the nickname, he said, but a tiny, vocal group of about 30 students makes it appear that all oppose it.
Dartmouth owes no one an apology for inviting the UND Fighting Sioux to campus.
Harper, however, owes the Sioux an apology for insulting the tribes’ collective intelligence and judgment.
A great resource for more info on this sad case is Joe’s Dartblog.