FORT YATES, N.D. — The chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe said today that he will present a resolution to the tribal council Wednesday to arrange a referendum on UND’s continued use of the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo.
Chairman Charles Murphy told a group of nickname supporters that his resolution would be put to the council for an up or down vote, pending certification of signatures on a petition they had presented earlier this year calling for a popular vote on the issue.
Murphy also said he would direct the tribe’s election supervisor to assist tribal secretary Adele White in certifying the more than 1,000 signatures on the petition.
Results of a referendum “shall be advisory and shall not be in derogation of the authority of the tribal council,” according to the resolution.
It further states that “any prior inconsistent action by the tribal council regarding the holding of a referendum on this matter” would be repealed.
Jesse Taken Alive, a tribal council member and a leading critic of UND’s nickname and logo, said he thought continued maneuvering by supporters was “disrespectful” to UND, the tribe and other entities who believed the matter had been resolved.
“I don’t think it will pass the council,” he said of the resolution. “Everyone is so tired of it.”
Archie Fool Bear, Tom Iron and other nickname supporters had thought the resolution would be submitted to the council today, and they waited outside Murphy’s office for four-and-a-half hours to find out why no council meeting was scheduled.
Murphy told them he had been unable to arrange a quorum for today and his schedule had filled with meetings.
“It makes my day when I can see my leader,” a smiling Iron said as he shook Murphy’s hand. “But we need some action.”
Murphy also indicated that he was eager to have the controversial issue settled.
Fool Bear told Murphy that he was “hoping this would go forward today” but he was pleased that Murphy has agreed to bring the resolution forward next week.
There still is time for the people of Standing Rock to speak, Fool Bear said, and he remains confident that a significant majority of Standing Rock voters will approve retention of the nickname and logo.
Once that happens, he said, he is confident the State Board of Higher Education will reverse its directive to UND to retire the longtime symbols.
Acting on the board’s directive, UND has begun a detailed and lengthy transition that is scheduled to have the 80-year-old nickname and the Indian head logo fade into history by fall 2011.
The draft resolution, if approved by the council, would require that “a referendum election shall be held within 60 days of the election supervisor’s notifying the tribal council of the certification.”
UND’s use of the nickname and logo was challenged by the NCAA, which deems such usage as hostile and abusive to American Indians, an opinion shared by many Indian students, faculty and counselors at UND.
In a lawsuit settlement, however, the NCAA said UND could continue to use the name if it won the blessing of the state’s namesake tribes by Nov. 30. The Spirit Lake Sioux tribe gave its OK last year, tribal members voting 2-1 in favor.
Thursday, June 03, 2010
Good news for the Fighting Sioux nickname
This seems like good news. Let hope the members of the Spirit Lake Tribe get a chance to have a vote on the issue.