Anti-Mascot T-shirts Spark Fistfight at Basketball Game in Sisseton, SD

Tiospa Zina Tribal School students wearing 'Not Your Mascot' t-shirts. Photo courtesy Tee Drappeau.

Anti-Mascot T-shirts Spark Fistfight at 8th-Grade Basketball Game in Sisseton, SD

T-shirts bearing an altered version of a rival team’s Native-mascot logo seem to have led to a restroom skirmish at an eighth-grade girls’ basketball game in Sisseton, South Dakota.

The game was a contest between the Sisseton Redmen and the Tiospa Zina Wambdi. A number of young fans in attendance wore shirts that had been made to protest the “Redmen” name and mascot. Monge Cha Eastman, a Tiospa Zina Tribal School student who was there handing out the shirts and wearing one himself, was jumped by a Sisseton student in the bathroom. The brief fight was captured on video that was obtained by KSFY, and ended in a handshake.

On the shirts, the Indian head wears a bandana, and a lightning bolt crosses over his face. Additionally, the Indian logo’s color scheme has been changed from Sisseton’s red to Tiospa Zina’s dark blue. The front of the shirt says “Not Your Mascot,” and the back reads “Damakota – I am Dakota – Respect my opinion – Respect my feelings – Change the name!”

“They say [the Redmen mascot] is honoring us,” Fidelity Eastman, one of the girls distributing the shirts, told KSFY. “The way I think they could honor us is by learning our Dakota language and having Native American history classes.”

Altered Sisseton Redmen logo designed by Tee Drappeau and used on the 'Not Your Mascot' t-shirts. Image courtesy Tee Drappeau.

Message on the back of the shirt; image via KSFY.

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