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North Dakota voters want Fighting Sioux nickname retired

North Dakota residents voted Tuesday that they are ready to retire the University of North Dakota’s Fighting Sioux nickname, according to the Grand Forks Herald.

With all 426 precincts reporting complete but unofficial results, the ‘yes’ vote on Measure 4 topped the ‘no’ vote 67.35 percent to 32.65 percent.

Sioux County, home of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation, also voted for an end to the use of the tribe’s name, 184 votes to 159. The vote total was surprisingly low, given the importance nickname supporters had placed on giving Standing Rock people a voice in the seemingly never-ending dispute.

“Obviously, we’re disappointed,” said Sean Johnson, a spokesman for the group that sought Tuesday’s statewide referendum on the nickname, to the Herald.

Johnson said he blamed “a lot of false fears generated by the foundation,” a reference to the UND Alumni Association and Foundation, which encouraged a vote to allow UND to retire the nickname.

The alumni groups spent about $250,000 on the campaign, mostly on TV advertising.

“When your opposition out-spends you 25-1, they’d better fire their ad company if they don’t win,” Johnson added.

Nickname supporters will continue to circulate petitions for another vote, a measure that would secure the nickname in the state Constitution. If enough signatures are filed by August, that vote may occur in November, but Johnson said the group may wait to file until December for a vote on the constitutional amendment in 2014.


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  • WGS

    North Dakota voters did not want to retire the nickname. They gave the University the ability to retire it because of NCAA sanctions, which is way different. It’s a sad day in North Dakota.

    • Blister

      The header of this article should read “North Dakota voters reluctantly vote out Fighting Sioux nickname due to NCAA sanctions”, not because they wanted too. The NCAA is targeting Native Americans, but not the Irish, or the Dutch. It a double standard, and looks racist to me!

      • B.D.

        Of course it is. But the Irish, and the Dutch are not on the Political correct list of “Approved Victimized Gourps”.
        But this too will pass….

      • mahogma

        The Irish and the Dutch are ‘nationalities,’ not ‘races.’

        • B.D.

          Tell that to the Irish…

    • Fan Man

      I second that! Sad Sad Day but not all is lost yet… There is another vote in November that would secure the name into North Dakota’s constitution but honestly I do not see that vote passing either. The NCAA is made up of a bunch of CROOKS

  • mark

    Agreed. There was no choice in the matter. NCAA turned the issue from Hostile and Abusive to a simple legal matter where a time line passed. Thank you Spirit Lake for pushing this as far as it can go. Standing Rock didn’t force the issue and sat on the sidelines until time passed….better things to do I guess.
    The great majority of UND fans will always cherish the name Fighting Sioux but are forced to move on.
    I’ll always wear my Fighting Sioux gear proudly moving forward too. Hoping for something that isn’t lame for the next name.

    • B.D.

      There will be no need to move on. The way the situation has been resolved has left the team without ANY possible new nickname. Thus, the fans will still chant “Lets go Sioux” and mean it.
      And in ten years whn Political correctness has run its course and will be seen for what it is the name will proudly return.

  • thefightingman

    Must be nice to live in a state that can waste money on things like this. Maybe we’ll find oil somewhere in Minnesota, and then we can start to see if we could change the Golden Gophers to “The Varments,” the Huskies to the “Anti-Semites,” and the Bulldogs to the “Edmund Fitzgeralds.”

    • BulldogFan

      What?

    • MPLS Sioux

      It’s called fiscal responsibility, tell your politicians about it.

      • Nothing in ND

        You wouldn’t have that if it wasn’t for Oil Fields. So just say your prayers that North Dakota found them!

        • MPLS Sioux

          We had a surplus long before the oil booms. Again, ‘fiscal responsibility’ is the key word, look it up.
          ‘So just say your prayers that North Dakota found them!’
          Wouldn’t i say my prayers that I do find them, not after they’ve been found? I feel like you don’t understand the correct meaning of that phrase…

          • B.D.

            Yes, unlike Minnesota with its hyper liberal DFL spending huge amounts of money on wasted liberal policies, North Dakota takes a much more fiscally responsible and conservative path.

  • Chris

    The NCAA In All Reality Are A Group Of Brainless, Hypocritical Shits!

  • Homeboy

    I would change the name to Fighting Redhawks.

    They should have the same name as their rival Miami Redhawks.

    Cool green Redhawks and Red Redhawks.

  • Wg

    The NCAA has spent limitless effort to back UND into the corner regarding the nickname, but yet today, the FCS Championship banner, (meant of course for NDSU) arrived at UND with a letter addressed to Brian Faison. It appears they can’t figure out which school is which.

    • B.D.

      Not that they cared anyway….

  • mike

    67 percent No and yet not even close to letting this end. Sad. How long is this nonsense going to last.

  • ForeveraFightingSioux

    Since when does a foundation, especially an alumni association foundation, lobby for or against anything like this? For the association to have spent $250,000 to lobby either direction for this issue is apalling. i wonder how the alumni feel who were conned into giving money not aware it was going to be spent on this. The alumni association was able to create the percetion that if the name wasn’t retired the school would lose money due to student enrollment losses, recruitment, sanctions by the NCAA, and sanctions from other schools that refused to play the Fighting Sioux.
    The sanctions and fines from the NCAA were real but posed no real or direct threat except the name and logo could not be used in NCAA tournaments, the student enrollment was an embelishment, and recruitment was not going to change. The only one that really had any impact was the sanction from other schools which refused to play a team with such an offensive name. This started with the University of Minnesota 3 years ago and was followed by a very small handfull of schools. So if you want to talk about Political Correctness, start with the University of Minnesota, the bread basket for such liberal BS. Had it not been for them other schools may not have become involved in this dispute.

    • Corrie

      It’s really sad that the University of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and South Dakota State chose to get involved in something that did not affect them. That was NOT part of the NCAA agreement. Those schools should be like siblings – fierce rivals who would go to all ends to protect each other. Those schools turned on UND in an unforgivable way.

    • Fan Man

      I am in complete agreement with what you just stated. As a recent graduate and now alumni of the University of North Dakota, I will not be donating to my alma mater because of the BS they pulled! Another thing, even as the nickname issue progressed over the past couple of years, enrollment only increased into record numbers. The only issue this took with students (myself included) is that we were tired of hearing about it. With the exception of a few on campus that claimed they were being heckled or whatever, the nickname was widely supported. At the end though, as proud as I was about the name and the good things it represented, I came to the conclusion that it was a battle that could not be won and gave in with the rest of the state of North Dakota. Although I didn’t and could not have even voted if I wanted to, I got tired of the distraction and really tired of the people who found it discriminatory. If you don’t want the Sioux name, you don’t deserve to have it period… I will always be a Sioux Fan!

      • B.D.

        Agree on that. The alumni Association can cross me off their list. Their lack of gumption on this issue was apalling.

  • ndr

    We, as well as a MAJORITY of the Sioux in our state, DO NOT want the nickname retired! The NCAA wants it retired and is blackmailing us to do so in the name of being politically correct. Aftrerall, all nicknames of groups of people are allowed except Native Americans.

    • UND FAN

      Blackmailing you? Other Universities have changed their nicknames already.
      This is not a attack on the University of North Dakota. .
      In all honesty you have nothing to do with the University of North Dakota besides being a fan and alumni. It doesn’t affect you in any other way then a nickname.
      Who it is affecting is current student-athletes at the University of North Dakota! Losing out on revenue, sponsors, games, and other visibility.
      It’s a nickname and that is it…. It doesn’t help you win more games or give you special powers. The University of North Dakota is the same no matter a nickname!

      • Gwen

        I wonder how the University of Minnesota would feel if the NCAA decided that it was politically incorrect to use an animal as a mascot and they used the same tactics to get them to change. The tactics the NCAA used against UND were underhanded and not fairly administered.
        Frankly, I think the nickname represents people and I for one would not want to be represented by an animal, so maybe they would have a point.

        • GOGOFS

          Gwen, seriously get over your fixation with the Gophers, it’s not healthy. This has nothing to do with the U of MN. Your state, the school, and the tribes couldn’t put together an agreement or the NCAA would allow you to keep the name. Blame the right people, and all of them are in ND.

        • UND FAN

          Gwen,
          They used the same tactics on every other University that had a hostile Indian nickname! And NO one cares if you don’t want to be represented by an animal!
          Other Universities have either won approval of keeping the nickname from the tribes, or changed the nickname when not getting approval.
          Stop crying over a nickname, and grow up!
          The University of North Dakota has been treated NO different then anyone else.

  • leggs2

    Are the Union College Skating Dutchmen next?
    What a world.

    • B.D.

      They must be. If the NCAA were fair they would c=ressure them as they have UND.
      But they won’t because the Dutch are not on the approved list of agreived parties….

  • Homeboy

    It looks like North Dokata isn’t going to have any money from alumni. They might as well call the hockey team the Huskies.

    Gold, Black, and yellow uniforms would be great at the Ralph.

    Since they aren’t going to play the Huskies at all it would be awesome to be called North Dokata Huskies.

    Heck I would even donate if they became the huskies.

    I heard also other names could be used Wildcats, Lakers, Bulldogs, Falcons, Beavers, Mavericks, Seawolves, And Nanooks.

    • Fan Man

      Nah, with all the revenue coming into the Ralph every weekend and the rich tradition UND’s hockey team posses, the name will not change a thing! The colors will remain the same and the building will forever remain the home of the FIGHTING SIOUX no matter what name they give us. Sorry homeboy, your stuck with getting your butt stomped by the Green and White forever man!

      • B.D.

        Yep, and now the fighting Sioux identity becomes a mania.
        Can you imagine the first time UND plays at the Ralph next season and the crowd does not Bellow “…and the home of the SIOUX” four times as loud as they normally have?
        Guys like me who have to this point abstaned from it out of concern for the national anthem will now GLADLY do it as a personal protest of the evils of political correctness.

    • B.D.

      Homeboy, some day you will learn that the great state west of Minnesota and south of Manitoba is called NORTH DAKOTA. Not North Dokata as you have posted in your various sock puppet identities.

  • bronxbomberz41

    Lots of people upset about this, but most of this comes from white people, who haven’t had their history, iconography, and culture destroyed, re-imagined, caricatured, and mocked like the native americans have. In this case, the Standing Rock Sioux people have historically been against UND using the Fighting Sioux name and imagery. And remember this isn’t just an ethnic group but a sovereign nation. University of Illinois had similar grievances against it with the Illini tribe, but after making some changes in the representation of the Illini to make it more authentic, the Illini tribe gave UI their blessing. To my knowledge this has not happened with the Sioux and UND.

    This is also different than being called the Dutchmen or the Fighting Irish. Neither Notre Dame or Union are utilizing symbols of the governments or former royal families of the Netherlands or Ireland (though I think the representation of the “fighting irish” and the leprechaun are about in league with how we use Native American imagery). Also, as a memeber of the NCAA, UND has to comply with NCAA rules, and the NCAA, in fostering diversity and acceptance, and being associated with institutions that do a great deal of work in that, really has a obligation to take a stance.

    Personally, while i’m not aware of everything with UND, I actually find their use of Sioux less offensive than the Washington Redskins (which would be like calling a team the Negros, or the Crackers or some other derogatory term). Why the NFL hasn’t cracked down on them is beyond me. UND seems to use a more generic “Indian head” that looks like the Chicago Blackhawks logo (probably also should be up for review). But without the blessing of the Sioux, i can’t see UND keeping the name and imagery.

    • MPLS Sioux

      Please research your facts before blindly guessing at what they are.

    • B.D.

      Nonsense. No characature involved, in fact Bennet Brian who is himself Native American was asked to create the UND logo based on his pride in the native peoples he grew up with.
      Try again.
      Regarding the tribes issue. The closest tribe to UND approved. It is closer to UND than NDSU.
      Standing Rock who never voted is in the southern half of the state, is six hours away and is closer to NDSU.
      And that WAS a factor.

      • D.B.

        So why does it matter if Standing Rock is closer to NDSU than UND? Oh wait it doesn’t.

        • B.D.

          Homeboy:
          It does in fact.
          Those who know the state of North Dakotaknow is stratified on a north, south, east west basis. Those who live along I-94 identifiy with NDSU more than those who live along US-2. Likeise those on a line from Minot to Grand Forks identify with UND.
          Likewise,when education funding issues come up the counties in the east routinely vote for funding for the universities, while those in the west vote against it.
          When surveyed residents of the western counties respond that they see the Universities as an exit venue for their children to leave the state, and thus not worth funding.
          This is the large scale reasoning why the Spirit lake tribe (Located near UND) voted for it. While Standing rock located far away and on the I-94 corridor for LOC’s voted against it.

          • D.B.

            Great but that doesn’t matter when it comes down to the two Sioux tribes in ND. Both of them needed to make it ok. Doesn’t matter the location being in the south, north, east, or west part of the state.

            Both Sioux tribes so both matter.

          • B.D.

            Homeboy:
            You missed the entire point of the posting. The Tribe closest to the school voted FOR the nickname. The tribe furthest away, on the I-94 corridor, never allowed the bvote to take place.
            Regarding the recent vote, guess which of the two corridors has the higher population?

          • D.B.

            B.D. (Homegirl):I didn’t miss that point. I know this but it doesn’t matter. The point is if there is anyone from either tribe that thinks the name is offensive or shouldn’t be used and there are people from both Tribes … there is a problem. The problem isn’t that one of them is located close to Fargo and NDSU. You think that is a big issue. It isn’t!

          • B.D.

            So, if people inDublin Ireland are offended by the “Fighting Irish” tag at Notre Dame their lack of proximity should be discounted?
            Also, since the bulk of the protests against the Name were conducted by people with no interest (Leftist profs in Merryfield Hall, AIM from California, the typical Vegans, etc) that should bear as much on the issue as well?

  • buhockey13

    Is the Boston College mascot politically correct?? Of all the mascots that one would most likely be a flash-point for politically correctness….

  • atlsioux

    Should never have gotten to this point. When the decision was first announced UND should have joined with the other affected schools and taken the NC$$ to court to challenge their ability to even make this rule. All the way to the US Supreme Court if necessary.

  • chappydotcom

    Lets be honest.. this is not what the voters and people wanted. This vote is a fear of NCAA sanctions on the university. This is a vote to allow the university to compete at the highest level and allow the university to be able to provide scholarships to the players. Go to the first hockey game next season and be sure it will be full of Sioux jerseys and Sioux chants!! We will always be the Sioux!! The NCAA can not silence the fans!!!

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