Nickname supporters plan marchFan: ‘I will fight until this is over’
By: Stephen J. Lee, Grand Forks Herald
A Grand Forks woman is planning a Friday night march on UND’s campus to whip up support for the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo.
Danielle Sime isn’t a student or an alumna of UND, but she’s a lifelong fan of the Sioux sports teams, she said.
And despite last week’s decision by the State Board of Higher Education to change the nickname and logo, Sime still hopes to keep the name alive.
“I’m not giving up. I will fight until this is over,” Sime said.
She means fight in a figurative sense.
“This is a peaceful walk to bring everyone together to show our support for Native Americans and to show how much we do honor the Sioux name and logo,” Sime said.
She came up with the idea last Friday night, she said.
Through a Facebook account in a matter of a few days, 300 people had clicked on the site by Monday night to say they are going to attend the “Walking Together to Remember the Fighting Sioux,” Sime said.
“I’ve never done anything like this before,” Sime said. “When I started, I didn’t think the response would be as overwhelming as it’s been. I’ve very proud of that. Now is the time that people need to have their voices heard, whether we are white, Native American, students, alumni, faculty, or from the community of Grand Forks, or Thompson, N.D., Emerado, Larimore, that we support this nickname. My whole thing in this walk is to bring every one together.”
The plan is to start at 9 p.m. Friday at 25th Street and University Avenue, where Greek row starts at University Park, and walk west along University Avenue to Stanford Road, about 10 blocks.
She decided to hold it at night, with everyone holding candles. But she’s not sure if the candle thing will happen.
Archie Fool Bear, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe who has led support there for the nickname, has said he will be at the walk, Sime said.
There’s anger at Standing Rock, Sime said, because many think they were not given a chance to vote on the nickname and the state board’s decision abrogated their rights, Sime says. An April vote last year found about 65 percent of the voters on the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation last year supported the nickname.
The state board voted to change the name last week, saying the change was inevitable and necessary to join the Summit League athletic conference.
Jeff Powell, dean of students at UND, heard about her walk plans and called her, asking to meet with her today and “fill out a form,” but said he was not trying to stop the walk, Sime said.
A friend helping her plan the event contacted the Grand Forks Police Department to give them a heads up about the walk, Sime said.
But she doesn’t expect any problems.
Only a few people have posted negative comments about the walk, she said.
She doesn’t intend to interfere with the Time-Out and Wacipi events this week on campus, but sees it as good timing.
“It would be a great opportunity for the Native Americans coming from New Town, Standing Rock and all over, that do support the nickname, to give them the opportunity to walk as well, to show support, and to say, ‘Hey, we have a voice and we want to be heard.’ ”
For more information on the walk, Sime can be reached at (701) 610-8248; e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Facebook account is at www.facebook.com/?refhome#!/event.php?eid112349325453623
Reach Lee at (701) 780-1237; (800) 477-6572, ext. 237; or send e-mail to email@example.com