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College Hockey:
North Dakota legislature passes Fighting Sioux nickname bill

It appears North Dakota will be keeping its Fighting Sioux nickname after a vote last Friday in the state Senate.

The Senate voted to approve legislation ordering UND to retain its controversial Fighting Sioux nickname and Indian-head logo. The vote was 28-15 with four senators absent and not voting and came after a massive e-mail lobbying campaign that senators said heavily favored approval.

The bill, passed earlier by the House on a 65-28 vote, goes now to Gov. Jack Dalrymple, who said he will sign it, according to the Grand Forks Herald.

“The ball is now in the court of the NCAA, and that’s what the people want: Take action or not take action,” Dalrymple said in a telephone interview with the paper following the vote.

Erich Longie, a Spirit Lake Sioux tribe member who has fought against the nickname and logo, said he was “very disappointed” in the Senate vote.

“I had hoped the Senate would put a stop to this racist practice, but instead they have decided to legalize this racism,” he said to the Herald. “No wonder some of my colleagues elsewhere are calling North Dakota ‘the Mississippi of the north.’”

In addition to writing the Fighting Sioux nickname into state law, the passing of the bill directs Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem to consider filing a lawsuit against the NCAA if the athletics association threatens sanctions against UND, the paper added.

Stenehjem sued the NCAA on behalf of the State Board of Higher Education when the association said UND would lose the right to host post-season championships or participate in post-season play wearing Fighting Sioux insignia if it did not comply with an NCAA rule banning Indian-themed nicknames, logos and mascots.

In a 2007 settlement agreement, the NCAA gave UND and the higher education board three years to win authorization from the Standing Rock and Spirit Lake Sioux tribes to continue using the name. Spirit Lake voters gave their consent, but Standing Rock did not.


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  • B.D.

    …..And let the UND haters begin!

    • Aircorps41

      I’m a UND grad and from Devils Lake, ND. When I’m back home the Spirit Lake Native Americans wear their Fighting Sioux colors with pride! And I’m sure that the Standing Rock Native Americans are the same. No matter if the name gets changed or not, you will always hear at the end of the national anthem, “And The Home Of The SIOUX”!!!!!!!!! GO SIOUIX!!!!!

      • B.D.

        Yeah, can you imagine the hubbub if UND’s team was renamed either “The Norsemen” and had the logo changed to a blonde in honor of the overwhelming scandinavian population in the area, or even better “THe Cav” in honor of the 7th Cavalry which made so much history in the state?

        In six months the protesting would be reveresed. Instead of saying we are now belittling a racial group as they are now, these same guys would say we were honoring a genocidal force and demand the name be changed back.

        They just seek their fifteen minutes of fame through consternation…

      • NoDak guy that gets it

        And I always shout “Give it back, then!”

  • F.W.

    The Sioux should drop their name right AFTER Notre Dame is forced to drop the Fighting Irish nickname. Everyone knows its demeaning to Irish men and women everywhere!

    • B.D.

      I agree. North Dakota should change its nickname at the same time the following do:
      U-Mass Minutemen.
      Army Black knights.
      Robert Morris Colonials.
      Notre Dame fighting Irish
      Rensselaer Engineers.
      Colgate Raiders
      St Laurance Saints
      Union Dutchmen
      Clarkson Golden Kiights.
      Merrimack warriors
      Denver Pioneers
      Castleton Spartans
      Norwich Cadets
      St Michaels – Knights
      Curry Colonels
      Hobart Statesmen
      Utica Pioneers
      Neumann Knights
      Massachussetts Dartmouth Corsairs.
      Salem State Vikings
      Worcester state Lancers.
      Lake Forest Foresters.
      Milwaukee School of Engineering Raiders
      Lawrence Vikings
      St. Norbert Green Knights
      Hamline Pipers
      St. Scholastica Saints

      After all, they are all equally demeaning groups of people, right?

      • BCnat.champsX3

        Add Boston University Terriers as well. Animals shouldn’t have to be connected to that institution!

      • Furgal

        Merrimack College Warriors changed their mascot from an Indian warrior to a Roman warrior. Lame…..

      • NoDak guy that gets it

        OMG, do you not get it that the Siuox were the indiginous people, defeated quite ingloriously, and now the majority thinks they are honoring them by making a sporting team of their culture? The equivilent, as odd as this sounds, would be if we lost California to Viet Nam in the war, then they established an all-Vietnamese team, playing a traditionally Vietnamese sport, in LA called the LA Americans, logo being some white guy. While they killed and slaughtered the Californians to gain LA, they still honor their fallen enemy with a logo of some white guy on a couch, eating potato chips. And also expect us to feel good about it.

  • sioux native

    Just to clarify things, both the Standing Rock and Spirit Lake tribes are in favor of keeping the nickname. The only difference is that the tribal council at Standing Rock won’t let their own people vote for it because they know they will vote in favor of keeping the nickname. Many native american students on the campus of UND support the name. It’s about time that the voice of the majority was finally heard. Last point, UND has always and will always honor and show the utmost respect for the Sioux logo. Erich Longie uses the word racism, which I consider an insult to the people who are actually discriminated against.

    • Anonymous

      I liked how poeple say “Sioux” is racist. But don’t know how they got that name, let alone the meaning of “Sioux” name.

    • Huskie Fan

      Good for you, I have a lot of respect for the Native American people in North Dakota and South Dakota. Wasn’t it a Native American who made the new logo for the Fighting Sioux, I think it really is a freedom of speech issue, we need to teach other people about the greatness of the Sioux Nation, and don’t let liberal trouble makers tell people how to think. God Bless America, and the Sioux Nation

    • SCALPEMALL

      GOOD FOR UND….THIS IS NOT RACISM…..IT IS HONORING THE WARRIOR MENTALITY OF THE REDSKIN!!

  • Anonymous

    As a person born and raised in Mississippi, I am offended by Longie’s comments. It is 2011 and the State of Mississippi has moved further along in race relations than many states. The comment by his friends is just as demeaning as he thinks the name “Sioux” is. Maybe needs evaluate the company he keeps.

  • JF Hess

    I grew up in Grand Forks and went to UND as well.Yes there is racism but Erich its everywhere in this country.I believe its a honor that a highly respected college like UND has the Fighting Sioux nickname.For me personally, i love it and wear it with pride all the time.You want something to complain about fly out to DC and tell Synder to drop his REDSKINS name.If thats not demeaning i cant think of what is not to Native Americans.Lets not even talk about the Cleveland Indains name and logo!

    • JF Hess

      and yes I am a UND grad class of 1997 loving every minute i was at UND

  • RCalcagno

    Sioux Ya Ya!!

  • Bobbyb524

    Fat, drunk, stupid, and now racist too – figures.

    • sioux native

      Racism – hatred or intolerance of another race or other races. Native Americans are well respected at UND. There might be a case or two when UND is playing out of town and some fat, drunk, or stupid fan from the opponents team makes some ridiculous comments.

      • Avertxsx

        I gotta agree with Bobby on this one. Check out the “classy” Sioux fans this week in St Paul – passed out in bushes and stumbling lard into seats – lol

        • Righty

          I wonder how many gopher fans will be present at the final five hosted in there backyard.

          • Bobbyb524

            See? ‘their’ – No Dak community college – hah – I rest my case!

          • sioux native

            Phil Jackson, considered the guru of NBA basketball coaching, David St. Peter, president of the Minnesota Twins. I can keep on going if you want me to list all of the successful people that came out of UND.

          • Guest12344

            Oh wow – they will surely save the world . Are they giving Nobel prizes for that? LOL

          • Todd

            They are just jealous because the Gophers suck this year, I too have a lot people from UND and have a lot of respect for smaller schools, I went to St. Cloud, so we did not make the final five so glad Minney is out, nice to see Bemidji and Alaska Ancourage. This whole naming issue, you are correct is white liberals, the most racist and hypocritical people you can find always talking down to us common folk as if we are too stupid to figure things out for ourselves written in the Washington Post, who make millions writing about the Washington Redskins(but that’s ok because they are beltway elitists. Go Sioux

          • Darker98

            Really?

          • B.D.

            Gee, our team won sixteen academic honors this week. How many did YOUR team win?

        • sioux native

          What does your comment have anything to do with this topic. Every sporting event has drunk fans who overdue it. When you have a “classy” comment, get back to me.

          • Jim

            You are one classy racist. How’s that?

          • B.D.

            Explain.

          • sioux native

            Really? Please explain what I have said that labels me as a racist. I like how that some people on here can only think of ways to join this argument by falsely labeling people as racist or making statements that are false and hurtful. Your intellectual level isn’t very high. I bet your mom is proud of you Jim. I’ll respect your comments if you have an argument about the nickname, but when you start calling people names, grow up.

        • Anonymous

          How about the Gopher fan that faced aggravated assault charges for sucker-punching a Sioux fan from behind… real classy right there… oh wait.

  • Iver7endroids

    The name Sioux was givin to the lakota Indians by the French… sioux translates into “snake in the grass” so take up any racism issues with the french please…

    • Anonymous

      If you go to the Standing Rock web site. It say’s they got the name Sioux from the great lake tribes, “Sioux” meaning “adders”.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KBVOP7JEIJTGTBGPEMTI67KVLU J

        you are incorrect it is in fact snake because the word is french and there is historical facts behind it

        • Anonymous

          Look on Standing Rock’s web site, and I do know how the Sioux got the meaning “snake in the grass” from the french trappers.

        • Montreal92002

          yes sir. an adder IS a snake “black adder”? ring a bell?

  • Dropthename

    Just another way the white man can continue to force control over the native americans

    • sioux native

      Actually you should get your facts straight. The white man is the one who brought this whole nickname controversy up. A few extreme liberals think they can rule the world, but the ND senate put an end to that.

      • BCnat.champsX3

        The local Indian tribes are white extreme liberals??

        • sioux native

          Is that what I said. No. The whole nickname issue came up not from the tribes initially, it was from a small group of people without any affiliation to the tribes.

          • Anonymous

            If I remember right it was some lady in Minnesota that started the whole thing.

          • B.D.

            And it was given fire by the usual miscreants at the UND liberal arts programs who believe they missed out on all the really cool protests in the 1960′s-90′s and are seeking to relive the glory days.

            Usually the same idiots from the UND “Peace Studies”, “Racial Studies”, and “Womens Studies” groups. Theya re proof thatn tenure is a terrible thing.

      • NoDak guy that gets it

        I am deeply conservative. I cannot find anything not racist in the use of the name/logo.

    • Fan

      You have no clue! Again, another ten yr old talking on his daddys computer..

  • Jdorf40

    I don’t routinely favor the Senate or any elected officals for that matter, getting involved in things like this. Sports shouldn’t need legislators to spend their time dealing with things of this nature when there are obviously bigger things to worry about. On the flip side, for the sake of somebody finally stomping on the face of political correctness I’m thrilled to hear that they are going to do everything in their power to tell the NCAA to man up or shut up. I’m so tired of PC that I want to vomit just thinking about it.
    The NCAA is the biggest bunch of hypocrites on the planet. The way the Standing Rock tribe handled this is ridiculous, and for the NCAA to back them, and give them any more say than Spirit Lake is insane. You would think that if they were going to CHANGE what has been done for 80 years, that they would need both tribes to say they wanted the change. But no, that would be common sense to which nobody at the NCAA has. However, they allow the Florida State Seminole MASCOT (the Sioux only have a logo) to ride into a football stadium painted up and carrying a flaming spear that they throw into their tomahawk logo at mid field while 80K people do a tomahawk chop motion and chant. They allow it because they say that the university has the support of the tribe. Really? Is it 100% support? Because if it’s not, it’s contradictory to say they have the support. The NCAA based their decision on the fact that yes, the Spirit Lake board gave them support, but the Standing Rock board never even had a vote! To me it looks like the NCAA is discriminating against the University of North Dakota because there’s politically corrupt clowns running the Standing Rock tribe? What should have happened, is the NCAA should have told the Standing Rock tribe that if they wanted to have a say or opinion noted in the process, they needed to have a vote to hear what their people wanted. Like I said before…I hope that the PC nature that plagues this country and has gotten completely out of control can take a back seat to reality and common sense.

    • ColoradoSiouxFan

      if you want to loose a culture ignore it, I’ve met people who went to UND from out of state, got interested in the Sioux because the respect shown, and took history classes on the Sioux and other tribes, dropping the nickname will result in less respect towards Native Americans
      people like Mike Forcia making up stories on Fox News about war paint proves their side depends on lies and not facts

      • B.D.

        Yeah, I have never seen war paint.

        In fact, when I was at UND the most vocal fans were named “THe Farce” and wore rotating amber lights on their heads and carried a stuffed Kermit the frog to the game.

        Figure any form of racism into that if you can….

      • Jdorf40

        I completely agree. I went to UND and then lived in Grand Forks for about another 6 years. I think you’re always going to have your idiots that will say something derogatory about the Sioux name, or Native Americans in general…but they are so few and far between that I’m almost certain I could find as many Native Americans that say equally as offensive things about white people. This crazy idea that we’re going to have absolutely zero offensive comments made about anyone is a little too hard for me to take seriously. I’m all for combating things that are negative…but let’s be realistic for God’s sake.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KBVOP7JEIJTGTBGPEMTI67KVLU J

    native americans are just as racist as everyone else ppl like to hate i only care about hockey so w/e

  • Siouxperman

    The ND senate is doing to the NCAA what the NCAA has been doing to schools for years, telling them what to do. The only difference is that The ND senate has a leg to stand on. Time to tell the 10% that the 90% are not going to cower and die!

    As for the racist comment, that guy is a hypocrite! Sioux fans all PROUD TO BE SIOUX FANS you moron!! Why don’t you go fight agains somebody who’s actually against you instead of somebody who SUPPORTS Native Americans. If the Indian logo goes away, how will it be better for the Indians?

  • Anonymous

    Why wouldn’t you want to be associated with one of the most successful programs in the NCAA?

  • Chilover

    i for one support the name sioux as an honor…and i truly respect the people of north dakota and the university and the great rivals that you have been on the hockey rink,…but truth be told …Bucky gonna kick your butt no matter what you call yourselves…take that gino gasperini wherever you are,…go BADGERS!…oops sorry animals for calling ourselves badgers instead of “red”…didnt mean to offend

    • Darker98

      Gino is in St. Cloud now. I guess you have to harass them now. :)

  • Jjblanch7

    I guess I don’t see the use of a nickname like Sioux as demeaning. I would be proud to have it as a nickname seeing it as a group of people that stand together and are proud of their heritage and the fact that someone would want to use them as a nickname!! Pride, courage, valor, and determination are some of the words that I think of when I hear a nickname like that!!! I applaud the North Dakota legislature for doing this!! And by the way I am not Native American at all so don’t think that I am supporting this because of that!

  • bothsides

    As a CURRENT student of UND, and someone who respects the name and logo to the fullest extent, I do have to agree that there is still a racist undercurrent in the region. I came to the University completely unbiased to either side. I have come to realized that there is an odd disconnect between the Sioux sports representation and the actual PEOPLE it represents. It’s as if people respect a depiction and historical meaning behind the name way more than actual Native American people, yet, they like to pretend that they are interchangeable.

    Over the course of four years, I have been shocked at the amount of derogatory terms and slurs I have heard individuals use on campus, in classrooms, and even professional settings regarding Native Americans. I am fully aware that this obviously does NOT represent all North Dakotans/students. I know many people who do not feel or act this way, and are in the majority. But just like any sensitive racial topic, you can thank the small portion of ignorant people for ruining it for everyone. Hence the reason why people like Longie have this outlook. I feel the name should indefinitely be kept, but I have a feeling these people will continually ruin it for everyone who actually do respect Native American’s as a people.

    Oh and Bobby, you too can take your pure hypocrisy and shove it. You preach about ignorance yet categorize all UND students as stupid “community college” attendees, and then focus on one grammatical error as your proof? Please… you just handed the word embarrassment to yourself. I’m not one to boast but I just obtained a position over 13 other finalists all from top state universities because of UND’s recognized spectacular academic programs and student workmanship. Before I’ve even graduated. Nice try though.Think BEFORE you speak next time, it might be good for you.

    • Mark

      Whats the last thing an Sioux virgin says before losing her virginity?
      “Get off me dad, you’re crushing my smokes”

  • Cm10tas

    Congrats to the North Dakota State Legislature for standing up as to what is the right thing to do! The NC$$$AA should be ashamed of themselves putting this University thru this garbage. Fighting Sioux live on in Grand Forks!! You don’t find this overbloated organization called the NC$$$AA going after Florida State and the Seminole name do you! Here is a logo of a screaming Indian and at their football stadium a person; are they a Native American?, riding around on a horse with war paint on his face. But oh no, the NCAA will never demand that university to change their nickname because they are in the powerful and PROFITABLE college football ACC conference. And we all know that “Money is King” to the NCAA; the student athletes, universities and colleges are mere pawns to them. Stand up and be counted UND, this college hockey fan from Hockey East stands proudly with you.
    The Fighting Sioux logo reflects an image of total respect to the tribes and their people of the North Dakota region.

  • mayz

    I think UND and the state should simply lay it out as an optional scenario:
    1 – keep the name and logo and everything remains as is. Preferential acceptance into programs which are otherwise based on academic and community performance (med school is a prime example)
    2 – change the name and everything is back to a “market” system. No preferences. Period.

    I could live with that.

    Went to UND in the late 90′s – I never saw any misuse of the name, logo or the like.
    Same holds true whenever I have gone back.

  • inthespiritof

    Any truth to the ND rider that said the women’s team should be the Ralph Engelstad Skating Eva Brauns, and that the basketball team should be the Holocaust lovers? Love how the fans of UND see the logic. Zeig Hiel