North Dakota Board Votes To Drop Nickname

From: Associated Press

North Dakota's Board of Higher Education has agreed to drop the University of North Dakota's Fighting Sioux nickname and Indian head logo, a move intended to resolve a decades-long campus dispute about whether the name demeans American Indians.

The name and logo, which is a profile of an American Indian man with feathers and streaks of paint on his face, could still be saved if North Dakota's Standing Rock and Spirit Lake Sioux tribes agree by Oct. 1 to give the university permission to use them for at least 30 years.

However, tribal officials say that possibility is remote. Unless the name and logo receive tribal endorsement, they will be retired for good on Aug. 1, 2010.

The board, which met Thursday at Dickinson State University, voted 8-0 to retire the logo and nickname. UND President Robert Kelley began making plans for replacements.

"This has been a long-standing tradition at UND, and I think the board action now instructs the university to develop new traditions," he said.

Board member Grant Shaft, who is chairman of a committee that has been studying the issue, said the move may help UND's likely application to join the Summit League, an 11-member NCAA Division I conference that is seeking a 12th school.


Anonymous said...

UND can now officially be known as the Susies and can modify their logo by making it a doughy faced North Dakotan with pigtails rather than the majestic indian with head feathers

dggoddard said...

I'd say the battle is just beginning. Pass the popcorn.

Aluuum said...

I love the new mandate: they must now "develop new traditions". Ok,forget about how a tradition,BY DEFINITION, evolves historically over 50,75,100 years.Forget about all those that have been before you,who built the tradition, just get some slick P.R. firm and develop a new one. What nonsense.

dggoddard said...

The UND Presidents Letter to students, faculty, staff & donors:

Dear Campus Community:

Today, Thursday, May 14, the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education passed the following unanimous motion:

“Consistent with the terms and conditions of the October 26, 2007 Settlement Agreement entered into with the NCAA, the Board directs UND officials to retire the ‘Sioux’ nickname and logo, effective October 1, 2009. Full retirement of the nickname and logo shall be completed no later than August 1, 2010. In the event a new nickname and logo is adopted by UND, they shall not violate the NCAA policy regarding Native American nicknames, mascots and imagery.

UND is further directed to undertake actions consistent with the Settlement Agreement to protect its intellectual property rights in the ‘Fighting Sioux’ nickname and mark. UND is further directed to address the imagery at Ralph Engelstad Arena and other venues pursuant to the terms, conditions and timelines set forth in the Settlement Agreement.

This directive shall be suspended, if, prior to October 1, 2009 the following should happen:

1. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe and the Spirit Lake Sioux tribe give namesake approval consistent with the terms of the Settlement Agreement; and
2. The namesake approval be binding upon the tribes for a period not less than thirty (30) years.”

We are mindful that there is a nearly 80-year tradition with our nickname and related logos. We honor that tradition, which has brought us national honor and distinction, as well as national championships and an outstanding record of student athletes as scholars. I want to be clear that I believe our athletes and our athletic teams — athletic directors, coaches and related staff — have used the nickname and logo with great honor and respect, and with a tremendous sense of pride.

Many alumni and fans have been staunch supporters of our athletic programs, and many have been proud of the nickname and logo. Among those was Ralph Engelstad, a former UND hockey goalie, who, with his wife, Betty, made many gifts to UND and built a magnificent arena that bears his name. We appreciate their legacy of generous support, which continues through The Engelstad Family Foundation and the management team of the Ralph Engelstad Arena.

Now is the time for all of us — no matter what our previous or current position — to come together for the benefit of the University, for our students, and for our student athletes.

If an agreement is not reached with the Standing Rock Sioux and the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribes prior to Oct. 1, I will call on ALL members of the University community — both on and off campus — to work with me, administrators, faculty, staff and students, to create new traditions based on our continued and shared vision of academic and athletic excellence and success.


Robert O. Kelley

achsdu17 said...

It will be interesting to see what they do up there, in comparison to what we have done so far.

Anonymous said...

From Deadspin:

North Dakota will drop its Native American-inspired nickname and logo next year. My vote for the new mascot: The Communists.

That has a nice ring to it. We have Boone, they can have Stalin.