Sioux nickname vote a possibility
GRAND FORKS - In a letter to University of North Dakota President Ken Baker in 1999, the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux made his Tribal Council's position clear:...
GRAND FORKS - In a letter to University of North Dakota President Ken Baker in 1999, the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux made his Tribal Council's position clear:
"Dr. Baker, it is well past the time to allow for any race of people to be used as a nickname or caricature for any reason. Respectfully, we ask your institution to hear our call to stop the use of the 'Fighting Sioux' nickname immediately."
The chairman then was Charles Murphy.
Now Murphy is chairman again, elected last September to a sixth term (with breaks), and he plans to present a resolution today to his council that may result in a popular vote on the long-running nickname issue.
"From everything I understand, it's still going to happen," Archie Fool Bear said of today's special council meeting.
Murphy called the council session - with a single item on the agenda, petitions calling for a vote - after meeting briefly last week with Fool Bear and other nickname supporters.
Fool Bear and the others had expected the council to consider the petitions then, and they were prepared to argue that the people of Standing Rock deserve a chance to be heard. But Murphy said he couldn't arrange a quorum.
UND has begun a transition away from the Fighting Sioux name and logo. It was directed to do so in April by the state Board of Higher Education when it appeared the board had failed to win the blessings of two namesake Sioux tribes, a requirement of a lawsuit settlement with the NCAA. The board had until Nov. 30 to gain permission from the Spirit Lake and Standing Rock Sioux to retain the name and logo.
Haga is a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald.