The NCAA, totally ignoring the wishes, the long-term mutual relationship of friendship and adoption, and indeed the religious ceremonies of the Dakota Lakota/Sioux, is fining a university for keeping its team name “The Fighting Sioux.” This is no surprise to those who have seen the fate of the Miami University Redskins or other teams with ethnic identity names.
(The backstory is that some Lakota/Dakota tribes view “Soo” as a derogatory term given their tribes by other tribes who didn’t like ‘em (the Lakota conquests tending to have that effect on people), but other Lakota/Dakota tribes embrace the name and are all for it whether derogatory or not, which apparently it originally wasn’t.*)
(Anyway, the Standing Rock Sioux were supposed to have a vote on whether or not to retire the Sioux part in order to fit in with the popular Lakota kids. Their council canceled the vote when it seemed the voters were going to vote to stay Sioux, and just unilaterally declared it. The NCAA went along with the popular kids, ignoring the will of anybody else in that tribe or any other. In other words, typical Alinsky takeover crap.)
Nevertheless, Miami University of Ohio and the Miami tribe of Oklahoma, Ohio, and Indiana (though nowadays, the official entity is based in Oklahoma, plenty of Miamis still live around here) continue their old, old special relationship of friendship, attendance, family, respect — and recently, of the rebirth of the Miami tongue. Visit the Myaamia Project and see how.
* Originally it was short for “nadowessoo”, and it meant “people (ssoo) who speak a different language (nadowe)” or “Northern Iroquoian.” (Yeah, the Lakota are just Iroquois in a different place.) Either as a joke or as onomatopoeia, a similar name was applied to the Massasauga rattlesnake; and of course not speaking the same language often equates to hostility in human idioms. But basically, the Soo part just means people, and nobody has cause to get hung up about it.