Letter: UNDIA stands with affected students

Officers and members of the University of North Dakota Indian Association (UNDIA) reach out to the students who have been targeted and painfully impacted over the past couple of days through ugly and hatefully-toned social media and other posting sites’ messages.  Our student organizations and others’ all across our campus community were saddened and deeply disturbed that once again race-based hate, intolerance, and targeted hurts have seeped out from those who quietly or not so quietly embrace, demonstrate, or even support this level of ignorance and anti-inclusive practices.  

Our organization, the American Indian community, and far more other students than you could possibly realize extend our strong community support, offers of assistance and collaboration, and hopefully a small measure of comfort in our assurances that you are not alone. We stand with you. We do not condone any acts of racism regardless of who they are targeted towards, in fact, we are fully committed to working as a powerful united force to bring an end to these incidents that do not reflect the kind of community building and brother/sisterhood we continually strive to establish at UND.  We particularly identify and empathize with underrepresented student populations who are not experiencing the type of higher education environment that is conducive to learning, growth, and the celebration of human diversity that truly enriches the educational experience of all members of our community.

We commend you all for your courage and voice in ensuring that local and national awareness of these incidents surely call for administrative actions and continued efforts to embed the values of diversity all across and into the very core of our University community – and certainly well into the dark corners where these vile attitudes and behaviors continue to lurk. Our American Indian organizations are fully committed to supporting your call for immediate action regarding how our new President, Mark Kennedy, along with his entire administration will respond. As fellow campus community members, we all have a responsibility to respect and support each other while promoting life-long learning – both of which demand immediate action and      community wide participation to successfully affect needed change. Our organizations wish to stand united and strong with other students of color and other caring and committed campus community members to demand zero tolerance for racism within our UND higher learning community!

Continue to hold your heads high, do not let hate win over your passion for learning and growth, and know that you have friends throughout the American Indian community at UND and far beyond. In our cultures, we believe we are all related, and we care about all members of our campus family. In closing, we invite all those impacted by recent hurtful events to gather together with us to draw strength and comfort in a powerful, healing way that will allow us to move forward and flourish.  This, we believe, is how we can win over hate and ignorance, and become even stronger as a result.  


On behalf of UNDIA,


Gavin Nadeau

President of UNDIA

[email protected]