“No Sioux Logo? No Sioux Casinos!” Shirt Sent Wrong Message
As some of you may know, the University of North Dakota (where we work) has as its athletic nickname the “Fighting Sioux.” This nickname, along with an accompanying “Indian-head” logo, have been the object of considerable contention, most recently culminating in a UND lawsuit against the NCAA for its finding that UND’s nickname and logo created a “hostile and abusive” atmosphere on campus. The federal suit was recently settled, giving the university a three-year window to seek permission from two “Sioux” tribes in the state to retain the nickname and logo.
Last week, the Grand Forks (ND) Herald reported on a T-shirt being sold by a company in Jamestown, N.D.
The shirt, which read, “No Sioux Logo? No Sioux Casinos!,” was critical not only of the settlement reached in the lawsuit between UND and the NCAA, but also of Indian gaming in North Dakota. As the shirt's creator said, “[American Indians] put their name all over a casino, which I think is addictive and destructive.”
Although people certainly are entitled to their opinions on whether casino gambling is good or bad, we think the T-shirt - which no longer is being sold, the Jamestown company announced Wednesday - was a powerful symbol of some all-too-common misunderstandings about Indian gaming.
Without specifically weighing in on the merits of the UND nickname and logo debate or lawsuit settlement, we wrote an op-ed which appeared in the December 10 issue of the Herald to provide perspective rooted in our research on the law and policy of Indian gaming.
Click here for our op-ed.