Thursday, November 1, 2007

Winona Yepa (Jury Member #6)

My name is Winona Yepa. I am 55 years old. I am a Wahpeton- sioux. I am part of the Dakota Plains Wahpeton First Nation in Manitoba Canada. I have been known as a leader for my tribe. I am reveried as a wise women to many of my people. I worked as a High school teacher and principal at the local high school. I have 5 children all over the age of 16. I have been a spokes women for my tribe on many occasions. This business about UND's use of the "fighting Sioux" mascot troubles me. Part of me feels that it could be a way to honor our people by having our name represent them and serve as a icon to them. What troubles me is, i feel like it could be mocking my people also. Being a mother and a teacher i have had much experience with children and teens and i feel that however the intentions of the name could be starting off innocent i think that many of the schools students, will not have enough respect for what the mascot truely represents.


kyle said...

Dear Winona,
Because you are such a highly viewed woman within your tribe and in the Native world, perhaps you can try to persuade some of your people to collaborate with UND officials and find some way of benefiting both your tribe and the school. Perhaps, you can inform them on some of your basic core ethics, traditions and more about your culture. I do not think the mascot necessarily needs to be banned, simply revamped rather. By joining with the school, the possibility of making a revised fighting Sioux portraying a more accurate picture of Native Americans, I believe, is very great.

-Gunther Foy

Shadowfane said...

i do agree with what you are saying, but i really dont think that people mean to be cruel when they use the term "fighting sioux." but honestly, if people are offended by it and can give reasonable cause, the name really should be changed.

-Marie Little Soldier

sarah said...

i respect that you have a view for both side in this situation and simply not taking one side more. i do find it very offensive and mocking that they are using the name of the fighting sioux tribe at UND. I hope that you can be peersuaded to support the indian more in this because it is so offensive to us and there are plenty of other names which can be used for the sports mascots. do you have a view of one side that is stronger than the other??
-clyde bellecourt

court said...
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court said...
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court said...

It definently is not meant to be a joke or disrespecting to anyone or any tribe. I agree with what kyle was saying. Maybe there is some way that we can inform kids about the Sioux.

frank hayden