com Contact us at ed

com Contact us at [email protected] a tenured political science professor, was put in contact with Bertha Johnson who is also Neuenschwander’s sister Skjaret wrote a letter to Bertha Johnson in October 1982 that described his friendship with Neuenschwander and his battle station on the USS OklahomaNeuenschwander was stationed in the ammunition magazine on the third deck between gun turrets 3 and 4 He was responsible for getting the ammunition for the 5-inch guns for both sides of the shipNeuenschwander joined the Navy in February 1927 Skjaret said he and Neuenschwander had "gone on a holiday together" and traveled on a train to get back to their respective homesRoss Johnson said he kept Skjaret’s letter as well as a letter his mother sent to Neuenschwander dated Dec 10 1941 which was a response to a letter his uncle sent her dated Nov 16 1941"Her letter to my uncle is stamped ‘Return to sender address unknown’" he said"This case is about righting a fundamental wrong" said Reed Soderstrom a Minot attorney who represents the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe’s Committee for Understanding and Respect which filed the lawsuit in November in US District Court hereChief Judge Ralph Erickson heard about 90 minutes of oral argument Thursday on the NCAA’s motion to dismiss the suit Both sides had filed briefs which Erickson said he has examinedJonathan Duncan representing the NCAA told the court that the Spirit Lake and Standing Rock tribes "were not and are not indispensable parties" to the 2007 agreement that settled a lawsuit brought by state authorities against the NCAAThus the tribes "have no standing" to sue the NCAA Duncan saidErickson said he "will try to render an opinion in the near future"Focus on ceremonyThe settlement agreement gave UND and the State Board of Higher Education three years to gain formal written approval from the two namesake tribes to continue using the nickname Spirit Lake provided such an endorsement but Standing Rock did notSoderstrom focused Thursday on a "sacred pipe ceremony" that occurred at UND in 1969 arguing that it conveyed the tribes’ authorization to UND to use the nameThat action was not taken into account when the NCAA and North Dakota officials negotiated the 2007 settlement he said and tribal representatives were excluded from subsequent negotiations including an August 2011 conference at NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis"The NCAA claimed that Sioux voices mattered and would be heard" at the time the settlement was made Soderstrom said "But the NCAA is not interested in hearing any arguments about the 1969 ceremony" and "the Sioux people have repeatedly been denied a seat at the table"In his oral argument Duncan said the 2007 agreement gave UND time to seek approval from the two tribes for use of the Sioux name but the agreement "didn’t require the tribes to do anything or preclude the tribes from doing anything"He said that UND during the settlement negotiations "was concerned that the NCAA would lobby the tribes" to oppose use of the nickname so the NCAA agreed to refrain from contact To make contact he said would have been to violate the agreement Mainstream worldJohn Chaske and Eunice Davidson leaders of the pro-nickname effort at Spirit Lake sat through the hearing with Archie Fool Bear who is listed as a plaintiff individually and as representative of more than 1000 Standing Rock Sioux who signed a petition seeking a referendum on the nickname The Standing Rock Tribal Council which has passed resolutions opposing the nickname declined to arrange a reservation-wide vote"I’m always confident but we’ll see what the judge does" Davidson said afterward She said she took some comfort from hearing Erickson ask the attorneys several questions "about us not being at the table"Chaske said he was hopeful that Erickson would allow the lawsuit to continue but he wondered whether his tribe’s customs and traditions — including the 1969 ceremony — would carry weight "We’re in a mainstream world here" he saidSoderstrom said afterward that he was "cautiously optimistic" about Erickson’s decision and he also thought some of the judge’s questions signaled appreciation for the Indians’ claimsDuncan declined to commentEarlier this week Soderstrom asked Erickson to unseal records of the 2007 Grand Forks County District Court case that led to the settlement agreement hoping to learn about any discussions about the 1969 ceremonyErickson denied the motion noting that the federal court "has no jurisdiction to order a state court clerk to unseal a court record and allow review by parties unconnected to the litigation"Key ceremonyIn their lawsuit Spirit Lake and Fool Bear also accuse the NCAA of violating the federal Indian Religious Freedom Act and the Indian Civil Rights Act and of defaming the Sioux Nation by initially referring to the Fighting Sioux nickname as "hostile and abusive"But Erickson asked Soderstrom "If you have a gripe with anyone isn’t it with UND and the State Board of Higher Education" Later he asked the lawyer "Isn’t your attack an attack on the sovereignty of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe"Referring to the settlement agreement Erickson added "The terms were fairly clear (but) the terms weren’t met" within the three-year windowSoderstrom said that Spirit Lake nickname supporters "acted in good faith" believing they would be included in discussions but "in the end they were tied to a sinking ship" because of division at Standing Rock and hurdles in the way of gaining a clear statement of sentiment from the people thereAnd the 1969 ceremony should be seen as meeting the settlement requirement he saidElders from both tribes "led a band of Sioux to the ceremony" at which UND President George Starcher was adopted into the Standing Rock Tribe and given an Indian name and UND gained the right to use the Sioux name"They went to UND with authority your honor" Soderstrom said "They had the authority to give the name"But when Soderstrom argued that the 1969 ceremony was directly responsible for the growth of Indian programs and services at UND Erickson interrupted him Major events were occurring throughout the country in those years he said including the 1973 occupation at Wounded Knee "which caught the attention of all the United States" To credit the 1969 ceremony for all the new opportunities for Indians at UND would be "standing history on its head" he said"I do understand the sacredness of the ceremony" he said "and I do not denigrate it" But he asked how could something that happened in 1969 show compliance with a condition established in 2007Reach Haga at (701) 780-1102; (800) 477-6572 ext 102; or send email to [email protected] Navy called him in 2010 or 2011 stating that the Navy was attempting to contact family members of sailors who died on the USS Oklahoma and were buried in a mass grave after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

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