Sioux Storm Rages On

What do you think about the Sioux nickname controversy?
Jess Myers


For the time being, referring to the University of North Dakota’s athletic teams as the Fighting Sioux isn’t just a matter of history and tradition. It’s the law.

As of Aug. 15, the school is officially under sanction by the NCAA for holding onto a nickname that the national governing body for college sports has deemed “hostile and abusive” to native people.

Should the University of North Dakota be allowed to keep using the Fighting Sioux nickname?

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That means that North Dakota cannot host any NCAA tournament games until they adopt a different nickname, nor can they play non-conference games against the many opponents that have a policy against playing native-nicknamed schools.

But in March, the North Dakota State Legislature passed a law requiring the school to keep the nickname.

“As it stands right now, by state law, we are the Fighting Sioux,” said North Dakota athletic director Brian Faison in an August interview, noting that the school is walking a fine line, trying to avoid running afoul of either the NCAA or the state legislature.

Teams from UND have been known as the Sioux since 1930, but that may change as soon as November. That’s when the legislature meets in a special session. Some are vowing to repeal the current state law, meaning the controversial nickname could be changed or dropped, eliminating the NCAA sanctions and other scheduling complications that have arisen.
In anticipation, North Dakota’s Board of Higher Education opted to retire the Fighting Sioux nickname by year’s end in a move that anticipates lawmakers will soon repeal a law.

While the school has gone to great lengths to use the Fighting Sioux nickname in a manner that’s respectful to the state’s native heritage, not all in North Dakota’s tribal communities support the use on hockey sweaters and other athletic apparel. Support from tribes in other states has enabled some institutions to retain native nicknames, including the Florida State Seminoles and Illinois Fighting Illini.

Of course, no vote by the NCAA, the state legislature or a tribal council will change the fact that the home arena for UND’s renowned men’s and women’s hockey teams is adorned with more than 2,000 depictions of the school’s current Indian head logo — on banners, on seats, on etched glass doors and even inlaid into the marble flooring.

So no matter what the teams there are called in the future, the image of the Fighting Sioux will likely be around for a long time to come.


Fighting Sioux

I can understand the native tribes being offended. After all, I am offended by several things. First of all, my wife is part American Indian. I don't call her Native American because I am offended by that term. I was born in America, am I not a native of this country, A "native American?" I am also offended by the term "African- American." I am of Irish heritage (don't even get me started on the Fighting Irish!). My ancestors did not come from a continent therefore I cannot be referred to as a continent-American such as European-American, Asian-American, or African-American. I am a lost soul! Incidentally, I have an African-American friend who is British. He is also offended when I refer to him as "African-American" (he prefers the "B" word but I tell him that it is offensive.) Perhaps a more sensitive term would be "Of or near Africa-American" and "Of or near Europe-American," etc. that way it would include anyone whose ancestors are not from a continent.

Anyway, this is a much more united and stronger country since we've adopted the old Soviet Union political correctness (it worked out well for them). We also know that this great country was built on victimhood and sensitivity, as well as "diversity"- pointing out our differences instead of "unity"- what brings us together (united we stand, divided we fall...anyone?). I don't know what UND's new nickname would be (something indiscript and void of meaning so as to not offend anyone) but my 11 year old daughter came up with a great term that would encompass all of us and make it easier not to offend anyone in this politically correct society we live in--"Offended Americans."

Rich...a victimized, offended, progressive-American

sioux name

i think theyshould keep there name

Keep the Name !!!

In the 1960's the North Dakota Fighting Sioux asked and got the OK from the Standing Rock Sioux. Today they (the elders) will not let the tribe as a whole vote on the issue. So the OK from the 60's should stand unless a tribe wide vote is OKed. The Spirit Lake tribe passed the name usage by a majority. The Sioux were never called that until the French gave them the name, It was an insult meaning snake. They were known by their seven tribal names,Lakotah, Dakota,Yanktonai,Teton, Oglala,Sisseton,and santee . They were a warring people, masters of the horse. They came to the Dakota's, driving the Cheyenne to the North and east and the Blackfoot to Montana . They proved their bravery and manhood by fighting and counting coup. Feathers and a place of honor was bestowed the braves that could show their valor in fighting. They were a proud people that held their heads high. That said the NCAA should NOT be able to force Grand Forks into giving up such a proud name without a FIGHT !!!! GO FIGHTING SIOUX !!!!


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