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UND nickname shows decades of controversy, change

1930s: UND athletic teams, formerly the Flickertails, gradually start playing as the Sioux or Fighting Sioux with a cartoon Sammy Sioux mascot.

1960s and '70s: Sammy Sioux is retired after some on campus complain about the use of stereotypical images. A geometric logo is introduced.

1993: The Blackhawk logo UND used alongside the geometric logo is removed from hockey uniforms. Then-President Kendall Baker visits reservations in North Dakota and reports he didn't sense an overwhelming conviction the nickname should be changed.

1999: The North Dakota House votes against urging UND to drop its nickname. UND's Student Senate approves a motion in favor of dropping the name, but the student president vetoes it. A new Native American logo is created by Turtle Mountain artist Bennett Brien is unveiled.

2001: The State Board of Higher Education votes 8-0 to keep the nickname and the new logo.

2005: The NCAA prohibits the use of Native American nicknames and imagery, putting UND and other schools at risk of sanctions. UND appeals, and the NCAA's review committee denies the appeal.

2007: The NCAA and UND settle the lawsuit, with the school agreeing to drop the nickname and logo if it is unable within three years to win support from the two namesake tribes: the Standing Rock and Spirit Lake Sioux.

2009-10: The SBHE directs UND to drop the name and logo unless it can obtain binding 30-year agreements with both tribes by Oct. 1. The date agreed to in the settlement passes without UND getting support from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

2012: In a statewide vote, residents vote in favor of dropping the Fighting Sioux name, and it is officially retired in December. The university begins to play as UND or North Dakota.

May 2014: After shirts depicting a beer-bonging American Indian head are worn to a local festival and students march through campus in protest, UND President Robert Kelley says it is time to move on from the Fighting Sioux name and, depending on the legality of it, isn't opposed to starting the selection process as soon as possible.

September 2014: Kelley appoints a task force to develop the process that will be used to pick a new nickname.

January-April 2015: The moratorium prohibiting UND from picking a new name expires as the task force wraps up its work and submits a report to Kelley. In line with the task force's recommendations, Kelley appoints a second committee, which subsequently gathers nickname suggestions throughout April.

July 2015: The committee winnows nickname suggestions to five, voting to eliminate continuing to play as UND or North Dakota as an option. The announcement causes public outcry and several protests. Kelley says he will reconsider the decision amid public uproar but ultimately doesn't include it in the vote.

October-November 2015: The five names are put to public votes. Two runoff votes are held until a single nickname gains more than 50 percent of the vote.

Nov. 18, 2015: UND announces Fighting Hawks will be its new athletic nickname.

Jan. 15, 2016: On Interim President Ed Schafer's first day, the university's Graphic Identity RFP Evaluation and Recommendation Team meet for the first time to begin going through proposals from 16 design companies to design the school's new logo.

Feb. 2, 2016: New York-based SME Inc. is recommended by the committee to design the Fighting Hawks logo. A contract with the company is finalized later in February.

June 22, 2016: UND unveils the Fighting Hawks logo.

Source: Herald archives

Wade Rupard

Wade Rupard is a reporter for The Grand Forks Herald. Rupard is a 2014 graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism and is originally from Normal, Ill. 

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