Each tumultuous step of the way, steadfast supporters of UND’s Fighting Sioux nickname have said the people of North Dakota should have the ultimate say in whether it stays. Now they mean to give the people that say.
Minot attorney Reed Soderstrom says the group will offer a North Dakota constitutional amendment that will say UND teams must be known as the Fighting Sioux. Initiative supporters need about 27,000 petition signatures to put the issue on the ballot in November 2012.
Lawmakers will convene a special session Monday to take up a limited number of issues, including the possible repeal of the law directing UND to keep the nickname and logo. “I do not think it (the lawsuit) will have any effect on the outcome of the special session,” Dalrymple said through an aide.
A lawsuit filed in federal court by Sioux Indians who support UND’s use of the Fighting Sioux nickname could affect next week’s reconsideration of the issue by the North Dakota Legislature, House Majority Leader Al Carlson, R-Fargo, said.
Injunction, statewide vote may be options Members of the Spirit Lake Sioux tribe who favor UND retaining its Fighting Sioux nickname and logo have turned once again to the courts to block the anticipated retirement of the symbols.
According to federal court documents and a court official, two council members of the Spirit Lake Tribe at Fort Totten, N.D., were indicted initially in a case alleging three years of fraud and theft of tribal fuel assistance funds.
When the state of North Dakota agreed to a settlement with the NCAA over UND’s Fighting Sioux nickname, the intent was to put the state’s Sioux tribes in control when it comes to the nickname’s fate, an attorney representing some nickname supporters is saying in his brief appealing to the state Supreme Court.
Genia Wilkie lay in a hospital bed in Grand Forks, recovering from a seizure. Crippling seizures and severe headaches had plagued her for years. Doctors looking for the cause suspected epilepsy until they located a tiny tumor in her brain. “When they found the tumor, they wouldn’t touch it,” she said. “They said that with surgery I would risk losing my memory, my eyesight, even my life.”
Thursday’s action by the State Board of Higher Education concerning the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo probably seals their fate, UND President Robert Kelley said.
“I think it does,” he said shortly after board members voted 8-0 to set a new deadline of Oct. 1 for the university to gain tribal approval for use of the name and requiring that such approval be encased in a 30-year binding agreement.
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