Fighting Sioux timeline

A timeline on the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo: 1930s: University of North Dakota athletic teams, formerly the Flickertails, gradually begin using the nickname Sioux, later Fighting Sioux.

A timeline on the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo:

1930s: University of North Dakota athletic teams, formerly the Flickertails, gradually begin using the nickname Sioux, later Fighting Sioux. A series of Indian head logos includes a cartoonish Sammy Sioux.

1960s: With more Indian students on campus, activism grows and complaints about "stereotypical" images become more common.

1969: Sioux Indians from Standing Rock give UND President George Starcher the name "Yankton Chief" in a campus ceremony and authorize use of the name Fighting Sioux by UND athletic teams.

1972: A fraternity ice sculpture using a Sioux Indian image leads to protests. UND President Thomas Clifford mediates, and the university agrees to quit using images that may reflect poorly on Native Americans, including Sammy Sioux.


1976: UND introduces a geometric Indian-head symbol as the official logo but retains a popular Blackhawk Indian logo for the hockey team.

1992: Racial slurs and rude gestures aimed at Native American students and children during UND's Homecoming parade spark renewed protests against the nickname. President Kendall Baker orders a study.

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

1999: North Dakota House votes 71-26 against urging UND to drop its nickname. UND's Student Senate approves a motion asking UND to drop the name, but the student president vetoes it. New Indian head logo is unveiled, created by noted Native American artist Bennett Brien. Ralph Engelstad gives $100 million for a hockey arena and other projects at UND.

2001: Engelstad says in a blunt letter to President Charles Kupchella that he will abandon the project if UND drops its Fighting Sioux nickname. The State Board of Higher Education votes 8-0 to keep the nickname and a newly designed logo. U.S. Commission on Civil Rights calls for end to Indian nicknames at non-Indian schools. In August, workers scrape a Sioux Indian head logo from the floor of Hyslop Sports Center after Kupchella orders its removal. In October, Ralph Engelstad Arena is dedicated.

2005: UND has no intention of changing its nickname and logo, the school tells the NCAA in a 50-page response to questions the athletic organization poses. In August, the NCAA bans use of American Indian nicknames and imagery it deems "hostile or abusive," putting UND and 17 other schools at risk of being excluded from hosting any national championship. UND appeals, and NCAA's review committee denies the appeal.

2006: The UND Indian Association, a student group, votes 26-2 to oppose the name because "use of American Indian names and logos in athletics is demeaning whether intended or not." In October, the state takes the NCAA to court to challenge its position on the nickname. Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says the lawsuit alleges a breach of contract and illegal restraint of trade. Judge Lawrence Jahnke grants a preliminary injunction allowing UND to retain the nickname and logo until the case goes to trial. The University of Minnesota says it won't compete against UND in any sport except men's and women's hockey because of the nickname.

2007: Award-winning author Louise Erdrich declines an honorary degree from UND because of the "Fighting Sioux" name and logo. REA hires Sam Dupris of the Cheyenne River Sioux tribe in South Dakota to meet with tribal officials in North Dakota about the nickname. Cheyenne River leaders later distance themselves from Dupris and reaffirm their opposition. In October, NCAA and UND end their court battle, the school agreeing to drop the nickname and logo if it is unable within three years to win support from the two namesake tribes.


2009: The Summit League says UND's application for membership won't be considered until the nickname issue is resolved. A resolution opposing the nickname passes UND University Senate 25-17, with unanimous opposition from student senators. On April 21, a Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe referendum supports continued use of the Sioux nickname and logo by better than a 2-1 margin, but the state board directs UND to drop the name and logo unless it can obtain binding 30-year agreements with the namesake tribes by Oct. 1.

2010: In January, nickname supporters on Spirit Lake file an appeal to the North Dakota Supreme Court of a district court judge's ruling that the state board has the authority to change the nickname at any time. At Thursday's meeting in Mayville, board members figured to get only update on the nickname situation, but the Supreme Court hands down its opinion the same day. Board President Richie Smith says the board will stand by its May 2009 decision to change the nickname and start the transition unless a motion is made to reconsider that action. Board member Claus Lembke of Bismarck makes a motion to reconsider, but it dies because of the lack of a second.

Forum Communications Co.

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