Letter: Too much fiddling from tribe's Committee for Understanding and Respect
Do the actions of the Spirit Lake Tribe’s Committee for Understanding and Respect serve the interests of the University of North Dakota?
During 2009, after Standing Rock disallowed further use of the Sioux nickname, the State Board of Higher Education did what the NCAA-UND settlement agreement called for: It retired the name and logo.
How did the committee react? It sued the board, insisting the name be retained until November 2010, the end of the three-year consideration period.
Though rebuffed by the court, the committee wasted months of the board and UND’s time. In brief, it fiddled. Early in 2011, in another instance of trifling and fiddling, the committee supported House Bill 1263, which required UND to continue using the Sioux namesake. This brought NCAA sanctions and the threat of ejection from the Big Sky Conference.
During November, when the Legislature met to reconsider HB 1263, the committee opposed the action, again preferring to fiddle. Sensibly, the Legislature signaled North Dakota’s willingness to work with the NCAA and the Big Sky Conference.
Currently engaged in the mother of all fiddling, the committee is circulating petitions to reinstate HB 1263 and to amend the constitution. Both efforts seek to enshrine the nickname in law.
In truth, each petition should bear a footnote inscribed in giant letters: Petition to retain NCAA sanctions and expel from the Big Sky Conference.
The committee recently sued UND to provide it with a warm, well-lighted space to accommodate its anti-UND drives. Like their male fiddler crab counterparts, these triflers should be directed outdoors, to stand on their tiptoes and wave their devilishly oversized claws to attract followers. Perhaps minus 40 degrees will forestall their mischief.
So, the question is, why don’t North Dakotans see these meddlers for what they are — the Spirit Lake Committee for Waste and Spite?
Donald Bruce Beard, Banning, Calif., is a Reynolds native, UND graduate and former teacher at Mott and Beach high schools