To the editor:
Lakota Ohitika "Fighting Sioux" are a proud military tradition since before Columbus arrived on these shores. There is nothing shameful about my people, the Teton Lakota, and I would be dismayed to see the bronze statue of a Strong Heart Holy Man that stands in the front of Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, ND, taken down like they did Saddam Hussein's statue, just because of a handful of ignorant people.
Statues honoring our people are rare. You won't find many across the entire country. I would like to see this particular statue stand. The tribal chairpersons who assume spokesmanship of the entire Sioux Nation do not speak for me nor are they authorized to be spokespersons for anyof the Lakota Military Societies.
In closing, I want to say that my concern is saving the statue of the Strong Heart Holy Man that shows honor to our people. I do not condone the use of a mascot, the name Sioux does not represent our people so is negligible to me, and I most certainly don't dismiss the racist propaganda that accompanies these things and causes pain to our people.
Arlo Lame Omaha
West St. Paul, MN