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American Indian Philosophy and the Fighting Sioux Logo Case Study

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Updated: May 25th, 2020


The Sioux logo and its application have created a massive controversy within the general American society (Corley 1). A recent example of the concerned controversy surrounding the use of the name as a logo is that of the North Dakota team together with the NCAA (Bailey 1). The use of this name as a logo has made North Dakota team risk the likelihood of sanctions from NCAA.

Seemingly, over a long period of time, the dispute over the use of the name as a logo has potentially led to a sharp notable divide. This discussion analyses the controversy concerning the logo as well as name and how this impacts on the Native Americans. Additionally, it presents the pros and cons of either side, and outlines the history surrounding the name. Furthermore, it reviews the American Indians philosophical implications on this name, the community response, the Native Americans and other communities.

The Controversy Surrounding the Logo and Name

Although North Dakota Supreme Court presided over this case, it is notable that the issue spanned through a long historical time (Gorney 1). Perhaps, the present personalities that were observed in this controversy could not understand the earlier century happenings that characterized the matter.

The occurrence that was eminent about a hundred years in the past during the ratification of the renowned 1863 Old Crossing Treaty marks the beginning o f the controversy. This treaty agreement involved the Red Lake as well as Pembina Band of Chippewa (Corley 1). It is crucial to understand the entire phenomenon. Such occurrences have indicated historical well-being and endeavors to uphold chronological events.

The treaty land foundation symbolized an area that the University of North Dakota presently rests on. There were several negotiations concerning the application of the “Fighting Sioux” name and logo. However, most people felt that the Sioux society should have been given the opportunity to decide the situation (Gorney 1). The Sioux together with the University had created a very hostile and myopic situation for the American Indian personalities.

The use “Fighting Sioux” name pus logo has been controversial when considered critically as mentioned earlier. The arguments and debates surrounding the use and keeping of this name and logo reached the legal peak, with a notable admissibility in the supreme court of the US. The second treaty occurred between the Dakota Sioux and Pembina Chippewa during the 1858 (Bailey 1).

The particular treaty occurred with great support from the US federal government. It was termed as the “Sweet Corn Treaty” (Martinez 30). This treaty clearly outlined the boundaries that the two sides or factions would have rights to claim for. It is crucial to consider this provision in various contexts.

On the other hand, the “Sweet Corn” accord text agreed and applauded the Chippewa claiming and possessing the title for the negotiated land (Josephy 17). Three decades prior, the grandfathers of the notable tribes had protected the projected agreement. This protection occurred through the exchange of the offspring or children. Additionally, they both echoed that they would never make any war or conflict against their grandchildren (Gorney 1).

Presently, Pembina Chippewa and the Sioux are unlikely to encounter or get into the war that they themselves attested never to get into some thirty years back. However, there has ensued a disparity of perception between these two notable tribes. This has particularly concerned the issue of the application of the Indian imagery. It is crucial to consider various factors that played massive roles in this context.

Description of the Fighting Sioux Logo

The feathers on the logo represented the excellent rewards that the learners, faculty, and the general staff were to attain. This was in relation to academic, athletic as well as the lifelong brilliance. The resolute look within the eyes represented the resilience and concentration meant for constant academics, athletics as well as other life accomplishment.

Additionally, the painting within the cheekbone sent a figurative message that life is generally a battle marred with struggles. The progress of the younger individuals, including their advancement in the university was demonstrated by green color. The yellow portion indicated the ‘sun’ meant to flourish humanity with light plus warmth. Finally, red represented the lives that were lost.

How It Affects the Native Americans and Pros and Cons of Both Sides

The use of the Indian imagery has led to a great deal of detest and discomfort among the Native Americans. However, there are varied opinions and feelings about this name and logo. This is because some people feel otherwise and honored by the use of the same name and logo (Corley 1). For instance, certain Sioux members potentially felt that they were highly honored through the use of this Indian imagery. However, there are also others who have a different feeling about this.

The Sweet Corn Treaty emphasized that there will not be any conflicts or disagreements emerging between these two tribes (Josephy PP. 56). From this perception, other people from these communities have reiterated that the indication within the treaty should be applied to ensure peace between the two tribes. Consequently, they have also reiterated that application of the “Fighting Sioux” name and logo must seize (Gorney 1).

There are opinions that racism and bigotry characters shall be persistent if sport teams maintained to apply the concerned name and logo. The recent application of the logo and name in sports within US has elicited a lot of reactions from different sides of the society. The particular small boxes used by most American cheering squad during these sports were symbolically and figuratively harmful to others. As some people viewed it, the small boxes represented Indians who received small pox contaminated blankets.

This was done by the U.S. government as well as the white settlers (Bailey 1). This act ultimately killed off several of the Indian ancestors. Following this event, the University of Minnesota – Duluth, in which the event occurred, provided the warnings for the fans that depicted this malicious behavior.

There were reiterations from different quarters that any profane, racial, or sexist and abusive insinuations or activities could be punished. Particularly, this could be done if these were targeted at the leaders of the sport, opposing players as well as the teams.

The History Surrounding the Name

There are archaeological records indicating that the Sioux Lookout and Lac Seul were occupied by individuals 8,000 years back (Corley, 2012). ‘Sioux’ reflects the planned locality of the concerned site. It rests on the apex of Sioux Mountain” and spans downhill the English River. Any eminent danger could be seen easily from a distance (Martinez 80).

During the early 1900’s the Sioux was preserved as a divisional point. A rail as used to connect this area with the East and West. This occurred after years of tremendous political negotiations. This was a critical provision when considered decisively in the Sioux context.

The Sioux Lookout was incorporated in 1912 (Gorney 1). This happened with several occupants inhabiting the area. Consequently, a train station was established within the area (at Sioux Lookout). Following this establishment, the train became operational in the 1912. This was in expectation that the Sioux Lookout was to develop and proper due to the railway. Accordingly and as expected, the Sioux grew with about 1,500 inhabitants by 1914 (Corley 1).

The name marks general historical underpinnings that have potentially influenced the social setting of communities that have become occupants of the area since long time. The association of these happenings and their influences on political occurrences within the U.S. has particularly led to several implications and changes. Generally, the name has a potentially significant implication into the socio-cultural contexts and setting within these communities and their neighbors.

American Indians Philosophical Implications on the Name Being Used and How It Affects Them

According to the American Indians, the use of the “Fighting Sioux” (in both name and logo) had various philosophical implications and meanings. Generally, the majority of this population presented or indicated the sentiments that the use of the Indian imagery depicted a racist environment. In addition, there was also an implication that the name created a generally hostile environment (Corley 1). However, there are also supporters of this logo and name who derived their implications from the meaning.

Perhaps, this was the reason why the some partners within the general society gathered several signatures to momentarily reinstate a state regulation that required its application. The name represented a tough time in the history of the Native American and Indians during which several native Indians were killed and treaties were made (Josephy 78). It has a consequent implication that the Indians are hated.

Most American Indians have felt domineered by other American counterparts. This considers the ancient actions or events that occurred amongst them in the ancient centuries (Bailey 1). Therefore, the use of such names makes them revive the historical injustices, which they experienced as a result of the concerned dominion.

The philosophical implications are largely noted to stir emotional sentiments about the minority group that seemed to have undergone a lot of suffering. Through the philosophical implications drawn from this name, the native Indians pose as the owners and of the land that was under dispute and view them as having deprived of their rights. The general implication here, therefore, remains emotive and might lead to the emergence of a conflict and fierce debate as already been noted in the case of North Dakota.

The Community Response, Native Americans and the Other Communities

The early treaties meant to eradicate conflicts between the two tribes still hold emotive concerns within the general society. This occurs irrespective of tribe or race. However, others have taken this debate literarily hence holding no significant meaning. Most people recognize that the continued use of this name and logo may lead to further sharp divisions amongst the concerned tribes and races (Corley 1). Consequently, there is a general observation that this could also enhance discrimination and racism within the peaceful communities.

Works Cited

Bailey, David. . 2012. Web.

Corley, Cheryl. . 2012. Web.

Gorney, Alexander. Fighting Sioux Nickname and Logo Controversy. 2012. Web.

Josephy, Alvin. Red Power: The American Indians’ Fight for Freedom. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1999. Print.

Martinez, David. Dakota Philosopher: Charles Eastman and American Indian Thought. St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2009. Print.

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