Busy week ahead on nickname issue
It's going to be a busy week for partisans on both sides of UND's Fighting Sioux nickname. On Monday, Spirit Lake-based nickname opponent Erich Longie urged the Tribal Council to change its resolution granting UND "perpetual" use of the nickname....
It's going to be a busy week for partisans on both sides of UND's Fighting Sioux nickname.
On Monday, Spirit Lake-based nickname opponent Erich Longie urged the Tribal Council to change its resolution granting UND "perpetual" use of the nickname. The word gives a false impression, he said, because future councils could undo the resolution.
On the same day, UND President Robert Kelley released a statement asking the university community to respect honest differences of opinion and to express those opinions in a civil manner.
He did that because Thursday, the State Board of Higher Education will meet in a special session to decide whether to extend the deadline on the nickname. The Spirit Lake council now supports the nickname after a referendum confirmed overwhelming support from tribal members. The Standing Rock council has refused to issue a referendum, and extending the deadline might allow a new council time to make a decision.
That new council will be elected Wednesday. The terms of half of the 14 members are up and nickname supporters hope a new council would be willing to issue a referendum on the nickname.
Also Wednesday, opponents of UND's Fighting Sioux nickname are holding a rally at 9 a.m. at the university's Memorial Union.
The next day, Thursday at 9:30 a.m., the state board will meet via teleconference. Interest in the issue is apparently quite high, prompting UND to move the teleconference site from the main administration building to the Memorial Union, which has more seating.
Under the settlement with the NCAA, which considers American Indian nicknames derogatory, UND has to win support from both namesake tribes in the state by February 2010. The state board later moved the deadline to Oct. 1 to expedite the process.
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