Boozy Native American head on North Dakota college kids’ shirts not a ‘Siouxper’ idea: critics

BY MICHAEL WALSH

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS | Tuesday, May 13, 2014, 5:05 PM
The University of North Dakota does not organize the Springfest bash for which the shirts were made, so it’s unclear whether the school will take disciplinary action against the students for the questionable apparel.

A group of college students made T-shirts showing a Native American head drinking from a beer bong that read “Siouxper drunk” for a huge party before finals week.

The University of North Dakota does not organize the Springfest bash, scheduled for Saturday, so it’s unclear whether the school will — or can — take disciplinary action against the students for the questionable apparel.

What is clear is that this is far from the first time people came to a head over the representation of Native Americans on the campus.

“There’s a really long history of fighting over the logo and nickname for the university. These T-shirts are just the latest event that connected to that,” Sebastian Braun, chair of the school’s American Indian Studies Department, told the Daily News.

Several years ago, the NCAA pressured the university to drop its “Fighting Sioux” logo and name, which were deemed offensive.

Photo: Twitter

This T-shirt designed for a big, unsanctioned party near the University of North Dakota is being criticized for the use of an American Indian image. Photo: Twitter

 

University President Robert O. Kelley was appalled that people wore t-shirts that perpetuate derogatory and harmful stereotypes of American Indians.

“The message on the shirts demonstrated an unacceptable lack of sensitivity and a complete lack of respect for American Indians and all members of the community,” he said.

Just last week the Gamma Phi Beta sorority displayed a banner that read, “You can take away our mascot but you can’t take away our pride. Mens 2014 NCAA Frozen Four.” It was quickly removed, the president said in a statement.

Last month, students put up a poster on campus criticizing the old logo and presumably people who are nostalgic for it.

Racist or merely rowdy? ‘Siouxper Drunk’ T-shirts draw smiles, anger at University of North Dakota. Photo: Twitter

Racist or merely rowdy? ‘Siouxper Drunk’ T-shirts draw smiles, anger at University of North Dakota. Photo: Twitter

Braun said the upcoming party will be held off-campus but nearby.

“Part of it is in a city park and there’s a business in town with a liquor license. It’s a neighborhood with a lot of student residences,” he said.

Students who are upset about the T-shirts on Friday organized a walk from the American Indian Student Services building to the administrative building.

University spokesman Peter Johnson said the situation was under investigation.

The University of North Dakota Fighing Sioux logo has long been a source of controversy.  Photo: University of North Dakota

The University of North Dakota Fighing Sioux logo has long been a source of controversy. Photo: University of North Dakota

Oneida Indian Nation Responds to Attempts by Washington’s NFL Team to Discredit its Leadership over Opposition to the R-Word

 

Press Release: PRWEB.com Newswire

The Oneida Indian Nation responded today to a report suggesting that Washington’s NFL team and its supporters have attempted to discredit opponents of their offensive mascot only to be told by other Native American leaders that the name should change. Ray Halbritter, Oneida Indian Nation Representative and the leader of the Change the Mascot movement, has come under personal attack for publicly urging the team to drop a name which is a dictionary-defined racial slur.

“In his desire to defend a name given to his team by an avowed segregationist, Dan Snyder can continue to try to attack me personally, but his strategy will not work because this is far bigger and more important than any one person or group,” Halbritter said. “This is an issue that underscores what it means to treat people with respect and to stop causing them pain rather than continuing to insult them with a racist epithet. This is a serious moral, human rights and civil rights issue – and the team’s behavior continues to have serious negative consequences for Native Americans,” Halbritter added.

Sid Hill, the spiritual leader of the Six Nations, recently received a call from a representative of the Washington team which “felt like they were looking for something, that they wanted me to discredit Ray, and I wasn’t going to go there.” Hill said: “The backlash Ray’s received is kind of scary…it’s like they’re trying to discredit the witness.”*

In an interview with a journalist from The Syracuse Post-Standard, Hill underscored his view that the R–word does not honor Native Americans, as the team has claimed. The term, he said, is a taunt and an insult that if directed toward a Native American on their territory would be seen by the target of the slur as an attempt to inflict hurt.*

“It is hardly surprising that the team marketing a racial slur against Native Americans is evidently working to further denigrate Native Americans with personal attacks,” said Oneida Indian Nation Vice President for Communications Joel Barkin. “For all their rhetoric about respect, the team officials’ ugly tactics prove that they lack real respect for Native Americans.”

*At Onondaga, spiritual leader of the Six Nations agrees: Time for Washington to retire ‘Redskins’, 3/16/14, syracuse.com/kirst/index.ssf/2014/03/onondagas_oneidas_agree_football_team_should_retire_redskins.html#incart_river

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/washington-redskins/change-the-mascot/prweb11676973.htm

Performance Artist Explores Stereotypes In ‘The Last American Indian On Earth’

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Imagine a man dressed in stereotypically “traditional” Native American garb, donning a massive white feathered headdress, an ornamental tunic, and face paint. Now imagine that man performing mundane tasks in Washington, DC, like grocery shopping, riding an escalator or having lunch at a local restaurant.

 

The Huffington Post  |  By Katherine Brooks   |  09/03/13

 

What is your reaction?

The bizarre quandary is put forth by performance artist Gregg Deal, a member of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe originally based in northwestern Nevada. In a striking film project titled “The Last American Indian on Earth,” Deal dresses himself in purposefully questionable attire and goes about his daily business, daring passersby to confront their own preexisting ideas about the modern Native American person.

“The purpose of this project is to raise questions about Native people, often viewed as a relic, and how they’re perceived
in the modern age,” Deal explains in a press statement about the work. “How will [people] react if they saw me, a Native dressed in buckskin and a headdress, doing something as mundane as shopping for cereal at the grocery store? How will they react if they saw me eating Chinese food in China Town or taking pictures of buffalo at the National Zoo?”

The project began filming last month and so far the reactions to Deal’s out-of-place appearance have included a pedestrian shouting “How!” and holding up a hand in salute, as well as a teenage girl exclaiming outloud, “Look, a real live redskin.” Another bystander chanted “hi-a-wat-ah-hi-a-wat-ah” upon seeing Deal in costume, prompting a videographer, Emmanuel Soltes, to follow him up for an explanation. As you can see in the clip above, the man proclaimed that he was not trying to be offensive, and if he had, he would have mentioned the Dallas Cowboys.

In other shots, Deal can be seen carrying signs that read “Thank the creator for Johnny Depp” or “White guilt release station, inquire with indian.”tumblr_mrvv46Cw5k1sdij4yo1_1280

“The performances will include a number of things that are simple, mundane, funny, political, over the top, satirical, ironic, and even sad,” Deal wrote on his Indiegogo campaign.

Deal plans to submit “The Last American Indian on Earth” for the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. In the meantime, you can scroll through images of Deal in action below. Let us know your thoughts on the concept in the comments.

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