Fighting Sioux Nickname may Go - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Fighting Sioux Vote Reversed

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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple has signed a law allowing the state's flagship university to shed its 81-year-old Fighting Sioux nickname.  The measure signed Wednesday will let the University of North Dakota satisfy an NCAA request that it drop the name or risk sanctions. Lawmakers had passed a law in March requiring the school to keep the name.  The NCAA in 2005 listed the university among a group of schools with objectionable American Indian nicknames, logos and mascots.  UND was the only school still fighting the NCAA over the issue. The new law says UND cannot adopt a new nickname or logo until January 2015. Its supporters say that gives time for the debate to cool off.

Statement from the Spirit Lake Tribe:

This is not just a sad day for Spirit Lake, it's a sad day for the State of North Dakota. We would like to thank those in the legislature that had the leadership and fortitude to stand their ground and vote in the exact same manner they did a few months ago. You were right then, and are still right today. You can never be wrong representing the will of the people who elected you.

The decision by the state has not changed our course of action. We are still moving forward with our lawsuit against the NCAA and their policy against Native Americans and our Religious Freedoms. Thank you to all of the North Dakotans that have stood by us, and will remain with us during our ongoing battle. We will not lay down and be quiet. Our name will not be retired, and our likeness will never be allowed to fade away.

We must all remember, we are free people until we stop fighting for our rights. Stand With Us!




  It appears the Fighting Sioux nickname is on its way out after a run of 80 years.

  The State House voted 63 to 31 in favor of repealing a law they passed just last spring. It required U.N.D. to keep the nickname.

  The State Senate also voted to repeal the law last night. It includes a clause that allows U.N.D. to drop the name now, but a new one can't be chosen until 2015.

  The bill still awaits the signature of the Governor to become law. However, it was Governor Dalrymple, who urged legislators to repeal it.

  The nickname controversy was causing U.N.D. to face sanctions from the NCAA. It was also blocking the way for their entrance into the Big Sky athletic conference as it transitions to Division One. Several schools were also declining to schedule games with U.N.D. until the issue was cleared up.

Representative Stacey Dahl of Grand Forks says she was a nickname supporter. But, she says it was time for it to go.

Rep. Stacey Dahl, Grand Forks: "And we turned over every stone that we could and did the best we could. I think that our citizens appreciate that effort. But, we now face a new set of facts that we didn't face last spring.

  The NCAA still faces a lawsuit from a tribal group who wants to keep the nickname. However, U.N.D. Spokesman, Peter Johnson says that shouldn't effect U.N.D. plans to drop the nickname, since the lawsuit is between that tribal group and the NCAA.



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