College Hockey:
Sioux nickname situation takes another twist

An article in Tuesday’s Grand Forks Herald says a lawsuit filed in federal court Tuesday by Sioux Indians who support the University of North Dakota’s use of the Fighting Sioux nickname could affect next week’s reconsideration of the issue by the North Dakota Legislature.

Attorneys for the Spirit Lake Sioux tribe filed the lawsuit against the NCAA in Fargo, following through in their plight to save the Sioux nickname.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the tribe and Archie Fool Bear, individually and as a representative of Standing Rock petitioners who are seeking a reservation-wide referendum on the nickname issue. It claims that the NCAA’s efforts to stop use of the name and logo “violate Native American civil rights, equal protection rights and religious rights.”

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  • Spidermonkey86

    Why are we still talking about this

    Miami…Lowell..Quinipiac and several more have changed their names and the world kept on turning move on UND

    • Ondeck

      Citing Miami is a poor example.  No sane person could fail to see the name REDSKINS as anything BUT a racial slur…it HAD to go.  How the use of the tribe’s name can be seen as hostile or abusive escapes me.  If that were the case, Miami would also have needed to change the name of their entire school. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IBX3ZLT5XKNZDOL2YZHPVX27VI STEVEN P

    As much as I dislike the Lazy Susans,they’re getting screwed over on this one. With the many issues facing the NCAA,legislating political correctness certainly isn’t one of them.

    • collegehkyfan

      I graduated from Sonoma State University in northern California, near what was the southern edge of the Russian empire in the 18th century, and the school’s nickname was the Cossacks. No Cossacks were offended at that useage, but some people who thought Cossacks ‘offensive’ complained, and now they are the SSU Seawolves. I hope everyone out in N. Cal can sleep nights now.

  • Pevan

    Good luck Archie, but the other ND tribe said no to keeping the name. I think Archie does not have much of a case. I hate the fact that the NCAA caved to a professional suit filer like vernon Bellacourt, but that ship sailed years ago. Florida State was allowed to keep their name because the Seminole  tribe was relatively small and didn’t want a backlash against their casinos. North Dakota does not have that leverage. 

    • SpriitLakeNeighbor

      Pevan, your a bit off.  The other tribe NEVER got to vote even though a petition of 2/3rd’s of their voting members from their last election requested one.  And what I really don’t understand is how is it that a nickname isn’t demeaning and derogatory if you’re paid $$$$’s?  But the real point is if nicknames are truly demeaning and derogatory, then don’t we need to get rid of all nicknames?  How dare we demean such groups as our country’s Patriots, Minutemen, Vikings, Irish, and the list goes on?  Isn’t it rather narcasistic to think your name is better and above those others?  Or is it as many in the majority who favor the name say and it’s just a way for a few who are mad at the world to stick it to the white man?  That has been the exact words said by many of the pro nickname supporters in letters to editors and comments when defending this great and honorable nickname.  Many people have pride in this nickname.  If you lived by these people and they were your neighbors you might understand that not all few persecuted and blame others (the white guy) for all their problems.  They see the great honor and history that their name represents and the way this university has used it.  And, they have no problem trying to once again stand up for their name against the elitists at the NCAA.  It puts a whole new meaning to the words  Fighting Sioux.

    • guest

       Actually, Archie is a member of the tribe that “said no”.  And saying no means that they had almost 3/4 of registered tribe members sign a petition saying that they want to vote on the issue, but the Tribal Council would not allow the vote and simply said no.  That is why the article said he represents a group of people from Standing Rock that want to vote on the issue.  Spirit Lake (the tribe that filed the lawsuit) voted two years ago and it passed 2-1.  It is expected that if Standing Rock would allow a vote that it would pass in similar fashion, but because their Tribal Council will not allow the vote, this group is doing what they can to take matters into their own hands.

    • collegehockeyfan

      One tribal counsel member speaks for both of the tribes?  Apparently that’s a full rejection, come on people

      • LincolnJim

        Typical Sue fans.  They don’t know their history when it’s inconvenient.  By their logic, the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 was all right by them because the tribal chiefs “touched the pen.”  Now the bigger issue is what are they doing with all that new oil money up there?  Any of that going to the tribes or to education of Native Americans at ND?

        • guest 2

          Does the oil money coming out of the south (Texas, Louisiana etc.) go to the Native americans.  Native Americans lived all over the US before the white man came and raped their women and slaughtered the men.  What kind of comment is that.  Where is the money going?  Trying to make North Dakotans look bad again.  The money is going to the people who own the rights to the land.

          • OccupyEngelstadt

            Gambling money, extortion, collection of Nazi items, sex harrassment, discipline issues, DUI.   Fight the real enemy!

          • GopherPuck

            Best response on this entire page.  Bravo OccupyEngelstadt.  I’ve always loved how some dollar signs make all the Sioux hockey supporters forget how that guy was a total nut job and huge racist.  They should be more interested in taking his name off that building than saving their own.  HOWEVER…  As a long time Gopher hockey fan I will always refer to UND as the Whining Sue.  Er, I meant, Fighting Sioux.  GO GOPHERS!

        • Suture

          Jimmy, did you go look at some American history book and
          spit out some treaty…lol…lol…. you are in rare form again…:)  Jimmy, I grew up several miles from the
          largest (and only) reservation that sits inside the state border of North Dakota
          (there is a small band of Native Americans in the northern part of the state (Turtle
          Mountains) but they do not function as a true reservation) Oh,…btw…most
          Indians I know like to be called Indians…did you know this Jimmy? 

          Jimmy, I could give you a BIG history lesson here but I don’t
          have time. I know anything and everything about the history of the Native
          Americans in our state. There are 6 “Sioux” tribes…because the
          Sioux were conquerors and many tribes fell under their rule…so to speak…but
          were able to be listed as a branch of the Sioux Nation.  Anyway, I won’t go on…but just know this
          Jimmy.  Of all the Native American
          doctors and lawyers in this country do you know which university educates the
          most?  Yep, your favorite team to the
          north of you…UND.  But, get this Jimmy,
          UND educates more Native American Dr’s/lawyers than ALL OTHER U.S. UNIVERSITIES
          COMBINED!  Anyway, the real truth of the
          matter is that approximately 70% of the Sioux Nation wants to keep the
          “Sioux” nickname.  Here is a
          bigger point…..since this issue started the number of Sioux who approve of
          the name has INCREASED.  In other words,
          after learning more about the issue at hand more Sioux are wanting to keep the
          name.  I think this says quite a
          bit….don’t you Jimbo?  

          I think this is all for not as this lawsuit will not impact
          the pending vote in the legislature.  So,
          you will have to find a new belittling name for UND in the near future
          Jimmy….what are you going to do?  Take
          care Jimmy.

  • thfurd

    Comparing Patriots, Minuteman, etc., to Fighting Sioux is apples and oranges. Those are names white people got to name themselves. Fighting Sioux was not chosen by native peoples, but rather one that was imposed on them by whites. Even the name Sioux itself was not used by that tribe, it was a slur meaning snake that was imposed on them by their enemies. Get rid of the name and move on. It’s racist, and it offends some people (including a number of us whites).

    • Guest

      I went to UND and am just wondering what about the name offends you? While I was at school we didn’t use the symbol they have now but still used the name and I was part of a group that worked with students on campus to find out if people were offended and couldn’t really find any groups other than the faculty that were offended (at the time and this was over 15 years ago at this point).

      Are yo offended about the Washington Redskins in the NFL? How about the FSU Seminoles? What about the Fighting Irish? What about the Braves in Atlanta? Just curious about those other names and how you feel. The one tribe that has voted in ND approved it 2-1 and many when asked said they take a lot of pride in the fact that the University has used the name with pride over the years. 

      I have long known that at some point the name would be changed or removed. To me it’s sad because I grew watching and attending UND hockey, football and basketball games and there is GREAT PRIDE in that name but the one thing that all UND supporters need to remember is that the pride is also in the institution so if we can’t have that name we need to move on. 

      With that point being made, I will leave you with this thought. This is the tribe making this decision to try and “save” the name. Not sure that you get to have a point about that given you aren’t a member of the tribe.

    • Bzimbug

      Get over it!

    • jpeng

      What? The name itself was a slur??  I think not.  Read your history…

      “he name “sune” is an abbreviated form of Nadouessioux borrowed into Canadian French from Nadoüessioüak from the early Odawa exonym: naadowesiwag “Sioux”.[5] Jean Nicolet recorded the use in 1640.[6] The Proto-Algonquian form *na·towe·wa, meaning “Northern Iroquoian”, has reflexes in several daughter languages that refer to a small rattlesnake (massasauga, Sistrurus).[7] This information was interpreted by some that the Ottawa borrowing was an insult. However, this Proto-Algonquian term most likely was ultimately derived from a form *-a·towe·, meaning simply “to speak a foreign language”.[5] Later this was extended in meaning in some Algonquian languages to refer to the massasauga. Thus, contrary to many accounts, the old Odawa word naadowesiwag did not equate the Sioux with snakes.”

      • WakanTanka

        Actually, despite your poor cutting and pasting from the internet, the term Sioux was a derivative of an Ottawa term that could be interpreted as Outsiders or Enemy, so it wasn’t a derivation from the tribe itself.  It certainly was not a positive term. 

  • thfurd

    Guest: I am offended by the other native names. I think any time you use language/labels that offend some it is wrong. What if there was a team called the Juneau Jews, or the Washington Wetbacks, or the Seattle Spics, etc.? I would hope people not part of these groups would stand up and say there is something wrong with these racist names. I don’t know how to comment on the latest development. I’ve already established that I am not an American Indian, and I’m not going to claim that I personally empathize with what those folks feel like. I just know that I personally, speaking for no one else, thinks that Fighting Sioux is a racist team name.

    • collegehockeyfan

      better go tell Notre Dame that they are racist too….

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IBX3ZLT5XKNZDOL2YZHPVX27VI STEVEN P

        The Irish aren’t a race. They are people from Ireland.

        • Gogspiezano

          The Sioux aren’t a race either, they are people from America (Asia actually)…

          • Gopherfan10

            It’s factless people like you who shouldn’t get involved.  The Sioux is a nickname given to the Lakota by the Ojibwe & it means snake in the grass.  The Lakota,  Sioux, or an other Indian tribes are know as FIRST Americans because they were found in America before any other nationality moved here.

    • Stalerecycledair

      “I think any time you use language/labels that offend some it is wrong.” this is the worst logic ever! really now- language and labels are nearly always used to offend people in some way. I believe you might have some good points, but you can’t use such terrible blanket statements, or it undermines your entire argument.

      • thfurd

        “language and labels are nearly always used to offend people in some way” is an interesting statement. Are you saying that most of your communication is offensive? Labels such as Gophers, Badgers, Huskies, Pioneers, etc., are offensive to you? Do you wear green at hockey games? If the language you use is “nearly always” intended to offend I hope we never meet in person.

        • Crovin

          My ancestors were labeled as Pioneers.  That wasn’t their real name.  It was a nickname given to them.  By the logic of many of the people in this discussion, should I find the term offensive?

    • Guest

      Just like the Fighting Irish.  And I am not Irish but it is just wrong.

      • Boston Guest

        I am Irish and I don’t care about the name “Fighting Irish.” Besides, why is Fighting Sioux considered racist? It’s not like the nickname is Fighting Redskins!

        I also find it interesting that there’s a big hubbub over North Dakota’s mascot, but nothing to be said the Illinois Fighting Illini. I have nothing against this name either. I just think many people take themselves a bit too seriously, and UND is an easy target.

        And no, I’m not a UND or Notre Dame fan. I’m FAR from it.

        • Soundvision909

          Actually there was a controversy over it. They stopped using chief illini. Eveneven though there is no illini tribe.

          • Crovin

            And North Dakota has never had a mascot.  Just a name and logo.

  • Robert8_fun

    I will always no matter what refer to this school as the North Dakota Fighting Sioux.

    • Jdorf40

      Amen to that.

      • Fan Man

        And will always wear my SIOUX jersey proud like tonight at the Ralph east!!!

        • GopherPuck

          How did that work out for ya?

    • Tylerdurdenmass

      Meh, I refer to them as the Flickertails

  • Glrred

    So why is Notre Dame allowed to use the Fighting Irish

    • http://twitter.com/gnomehole The Gnome

      Is Irish a race?   Ahhh.. now you get it.

      Isn’t there anything else to do up in North Dakota than to keep battling this?  Oh yea, I guess not.    They just don’t want to have to remove all those logos from their Canadian hockey team’s facilities I think.

      • Guest

        Is Sioux a race?  Think about it….    Ya Gnome,  oh I think that was racist.  My bad!  You better change your name too

  • http://twitter.com/bWid7 Bryan Widmark


  • Coloradohockey

    Maybe the native Americans in  North Dakota are looking at the issue from the wrong perspective. Why should they not be proud of the nickname? I went to high school with a member of the Sioux tribe who was proud to be a Sioux and more specifically one who ended up going to school there.

    • Crovin

      Most of the ND native Americans are proud of the nickname.  That’s why they’re filing a lawsuit against the NCAA.  They want UND to remain the Fighting Sioux.

  • Bill H.

    As a Univ. of Minnesota fan, I think it would be a great tragedy if UND has to give up the name. I have never looked at this as something racist, degrading, but rather great respect to the Sioux nation. While I will never be a UND fan, I have great respect for this great University and the pride they always show whenever they are in our town. Keep fighting Sioux, lots of us in MN are wishing you the best.


  • martin coughlin

    Has anyone ever mention the idea that  the NCAA  has picked a small market University to flex its  political influence.
            I think the NCAA  thought that it would be a push over to get the UND to change the name giving the NCAA more power in the future to dictate their policies to other higher education facilites.
         When I wear my Sioux clothing out in public I always and I mean always get strangers asking me “Why” are they trying to change the name?  Its a sad time in america when the majority doesn’t rule..
                                UND “77″

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