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Published November 16, 2009, 04:17 PM

Standing Rock Elder Supports Nickname

A Standing Rock Sioux Tribal elder and long time tribal government member was in Grand Forks today and he's speaking out about the Nickname and Logo Issue at UND. He says its all about education.

By: Steve Bodakowski, WDAZ

A Standing Rock Sioux Tribal elder and long time tribal government member was in Grand Forks today and he's speaking out about the Nickname and Logo Issue at UND. He says its all about education.

Standing Rock Tribal member Tom Iron was involved in Standing Rock tribal government for 20 years including a long stint as vice chair. A nickname supporter himself, Iron will be in Grand Forks over the next week talking to native and non native students.

Tom Iron: "The reason I came here is because I respect you and I want to be able to speak with you and let you understand I am really concerned about the best interest of a resolution."

Iron says his family is part of Sioux history. After fighting in many historic battles, they've learned the true meaning of their name. Iron says he doesn't want to change native american views just educate them.

Tom Iron: "They have identity problems right now because history is not should not amount so many different generations so there's a lack of understanding."

Iron says the differences in opinions among natives surrounding the name and logo stems from them not letting go of past negativity. He says they should be dealing with their issues and realize the sense of pride the name carries with it.

Tom Iron: "They have personal problems they never dealt with through counseling they need to come back to reality and find out life is much better."

Iron says communication is the key. He says the past council was restrictive and disrespectful and is what led to some of the backlash on the reservation. With a new council and chairman , he says a vote may be the way to go.

Tom Iron: "we don't look back and try to find fault among society because we're all brothers an sisters no matter what race you are that's why I speak out."

Iron will be talking to the UND student senate next Sunday. The State board of higher education will meet this Thursday to talk about the name and logo.

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