Fate of UND's controversial Fighting Sioux nickname may be determined by referendum

Categories: Racism
fighting sioux.jpg
It's a very fetching logo -- but is it racist?
The people of North Dakota may get a chance to decide whether the University of North Dakota continues to use the Fighting Sioux nickname or not.

Last night, supporters of the nickname delivered a petition with about 17,000 signatures to the NoDak secretary of state. State law says that if 13,452 of the signatures are legit, a statewide referendum will decide the fate of the nickname this June.

As you've probably heard, opponents of the Fighting Sioux nickname claim it's offensive and perpetuates negative stereotypes about Native Americans. Supporters believe... well, presumably something about tradition, and I'll be damned if that isn't a cool looking logo too.

The controversy began in 1999, when a bill was introduced in the NoDak House to abolish the Fighting Sioux nickname. It didn't go anywhere, and two years later wealthy alumnus Ralph Engelstad donated $100 million to the school for a new arena on the condition UND remain the Fighting Sioux. (The arena named after Engelstad features the Fighting Sioux logo in 2,400 places in an effort to sabotage any future effort to change the nickname.)

In 2005, the NCAA sanctioned schools with tribal logos and/or nicknames, including UND, that were deemed to be "hostile and abusive." The NCAA later agreed to compromise and allow UND to keep the nickname if it could secure the blessing of two large North Dakota Native American tribes -- but so far, only one of the two has consented.

With the NoDak legislative and executive branch seemingly unable to resolve the controversy on its own, a petition drive recently got off the ground with the idea of taking the issue directly to state voters. That drive concluded with the delivery of roughly 17,000 signatures last night.
 
Today, school administrators announced that they will continue to use the Fighting Sioux nickname pending the petition verification and possible statewide referendum.

There may be consequences for UND if voters decide to keep the 80-year-old nickname -- The Wall Street Journal reported last November that our very own University of Minnesota is among the schools that have threatened to stop competing against UND unless the nickname is changed.


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25 comments
Rubiji
Rubiji

if this name offends even one Lakota (Sioux is even an incorrect label), then 8t should be omitted!

Skipfrake
Skipfrake

Sioux is itself a slang ( derogatory ) name for the Lakota tribes,it's French ,means snake.It doesn't matter that you've heard someone call themselves that, how many Black people have you heard call each other N....r. What if Yale called their teams Kikes. Would that be ok too? Frankly the U of M should be called Women Killers,or Souix baby killers. I'll make you a cool logo.

amiller92
amiller92

I thought the NCAA was going to ban anyone using an offensive native american nickname from post season play?  So if the pass the referendum, they just bow out of championships?

pizza
pizza

I know "Sioux" is derogatory, but I've heard plenty of Dakota refer to themselves as such. If there were a team called "The Fighting Swedes", I'd buy all their merch.

Johnny
Johnny

Another Fail++ from Aaron.......

Zach Pasdoe
Zach Pasdoe

Hey Mr. Rupar.  There is a bit more to your story than just racist crackers wanting to keep the name and cool looking logo. Why didn't you mention the fact that Spirit Lake tribal members endorse using the Sioux name?  Or why did you leave out the fact that it was the Standing Rock tribal COUNCIL that opposed the name and didn't even allow its tribal members to vote on the issue?  And why didn't you mention the fact that it was members of the Spirit Lake and Standing Rock Sioux reservations that actually started the petition drives?  I'm assuming it has to do with the fact that you wouldn't have a story.  Honestly, what would you have had to write about - how the current Native Americans (Sioux tribal members) who are supporters of the nickname and petition drive are racist for wanting to keep the Sioux name and the cool logo?  Now that would have been one interesting.  

Michelle Bachmann
Michelle Bachmann

Just imagine if the good people of North Dakota could find something productive to do with their time like teach their children how to brush their teeth and wipe themselves after going to the bathroom.  Maybe then it wouldn't be a state of toothless rednecks that reek of feces.  I'm so proud Minnesota has better things to do than vote on what we should call our college sports team.  Just face it North Dakota, you will never have a name as great as The Golden Gophers but that is why your team is filled with Minnesotans that weren't good enough for the Gophers and the best hockey players from the Canadian prison system.   This just makes me glad we are leaving the pathetic WHCWSA or whatever the fuck its called for a real conference.   The Big Ten is a conference built around great hockey, it doesn't contain teams filled with thug idiots that sucker punch better players because they can't handle being a loser.  When you have a fanbase made up of racist crybabies you get a team filled with stupid thugs.  Good riddance losers.   What kind of university let's a Nazi loving bastard like Engelstad call the shots?   A loser university, filled with losers.  Good luck winning the mountain west or whatever your shitty conference is called.   Go Gophers! 

Michelle Bachmann
Michelle Bachmann

 I'm not surprised you think this is no big deal sam.  Really it just shows what sort of people think its important to keep a racist nickname.  I hope everyone knows this is sam I am the racist lying troll that posts on almost every story using racial slurs and homophobic remarks.  Pathetic. Why do you hide under 50 fucking names loser?  Finally figuring out no one cares what an unfunny racist loser thinks?    You want to pretend you are a nice normal person now sam?  

pizza
pizza

Good points.

pizza
pizza

It isn't ok to you to judge by race, but regional prejudice is ok because that is still considered "politically correct".......the depth of your understanding is remarkable

Michelle Bachmann
Michelle Bachmann

I just picked a scab off of my cunt and this creamy sauce started to flow out.  I think I will serve this over pasta for dinner tonight.  I bet my partner, Diane, will love it!

pizza
pizza

Whoa, whoa. Don't libel my CP blog name. I could make outlandish accusations as well. You're a real nut job, guy.

Michelle Bachmann
Michelle Bachmann

 Not surprised a racist like you thinks is worth millions of dollars to fight about a college sports team name.   Go use racial slurs to make your point sam I am the racist loser.

Michelle Bachmann
Michelle Bachmann

Is this your nice voice?   The one where you don't use racial slurs and type out your gay sex fantasies sam I am?   Go fuck yourself you fucking asshole.  Go back to your white power blogs.  

pizza
pizza

No idea what you're talking about. Ever think he could be using "pizza"?

Michelle Bachmann
Michelle Bachmann

 Lying Republican liar.  Click on his name, scroll down to the Ron Paul buying ads in Minnesota story.  See sam I am here admit to name switching. 

Michelle Bachmann
Michelle Bachmann

 Zach Pasdoe:   Well idiot the guy that supports your point of view posts on every single story as sam I am.  He screams racist and homophbic things on every story.   I bet you felt really smart typing "typical response....blah blah blah"  without knowing the whole story.   Congrats stupid, thanks for proving my point only an idiot thinks a college sports team name is worth spending millions of dollars about it.   Congrats on being on the same side as a winner like pizza who posts under 15 names while screaming racial slurs and homophobic "jokes" that read more like his secret fantasies. 

Zach Pasdoe
Zach Pasdoe

Typical response.  Calling someone a racist without knowing her/his racial makeup is beyond childish and basically proves you don't know much about anything.  BTW, I never stated I support the Fighting Sioux nickname nor did I state I like sports.  I suggested the author look into the issue a bit more before he and halfwits such as yourself start spouting off about how all supporters are white and racist.

pizza
pizza

Over the course of a year or so, the last handles I have used were bloodbath, tweek, yobananaboy, pizza... if I did use any more it was very briefly and don't remember them. Liberal politicians and sam I ams don't ring a bell at all and were def not recent. Better keep working on your liberal smarts to find the right guy.

Michelle Bachmann
Michelle Bachmann

 You are also known as "yo banana boy".    You steal my joke and sometimes name yourself after a Liberal politician.  It's pathetic to steal jokes.  I'm not the first person to call you out on your vile comments and your name switching.  If people click on your name they can scroll down and read you admiting to using different names.     It's easy for Liberals like me to spot this about you because you are very stupid.  Even under a fake name you use the same words and make the same spelling mistakes.  I'm sure in your pathetic tiny brain you thought you were really smart switching names.  I'm sure you sat at your computer thinking "all dos dum liberals not no me is pizza."    How fucking stupid are you to be so easily caught?   Seriously, explain that to the world.  How fucking stupid are you guy?   It takes literally 2 seconds to realize you are a dumb fucking idiot liar switching names to pretend people agree with you.   How fucking pathetic is it that you reply to your own comments to pretend there is one other person as stupid as you are?      You are all alone in your pathetic racist stupidity.   Go back to your white power blogs.

pizza
pizza

Sam I am? This is pizza.

You might need to talk to someone guy, you don't seem well.

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