Miami Herald - Walter Twinn, 69, who still speaks his native Dakota language, said there are only a handful of people on the reservation strongly opposed to the name. He cited a 1969 pipe ceremony held on the UND campus when a delegation from Standing Rock and at least one representative from Spirit Lake reportedly bestowed to the university permanent rights to use the nickname.This article brings up an issue – first what is the new nickname and what is it going to be – second, who is going to decide what the new nickname is going to be?
"UND has helped a lot of Indian students," Twinn said. "It should stay." The Standing Rock reservation straddles the North and South Dakota border and is home to about 9,000 people, more than half of whom live in North Dakota. Elections for tribal chairman typically draw up to 2,000 voters.
Lawrence Miller, an employee at the tribe's casino, said it makes little sense to change the name. However, he acknowledges that he didn't vote. "What are they going to call themselves, the Holsteins? Or the Cow Milkers?" Miller said.
Bubba Standing Bear, who spent Wednesday herding cows on horseback, said he would have approved the measure had he been old enough to vote. "To me it really doesn't matter. It's just a name," he said. "I didn't think it was disrespectful. I know a lot of the old people might not like it but I think it is respectful."
Erich Longie, an enrolled member of the Spirit Lake tribe who has been an outspoken critic against the nickname, said UND T-shirts and other giveaways encouraged about two-thirds of 1,100 members of that tribe to endorse the name in 2009. He said only 70 people on the Spirit Lake reservation voted Tuesday.
"They didn't have all the free stuff to pass out," Longie said. "It shows you how much people cared about the vote."
The name is in the process of eventually being changed, however, the road to finding an acceptable replacement for the Fighting Sioux nickname is going to be the next fight – we need to get out front and make sure that the school isn’t stuck with an unacceptable and downright stupid replacement nickname. We don’t need to think very hard to imagine some of the unacceptable replacement names that some have already suggested.
I am of the belief that nothing we select is ever going to be as good as the Fighting Sioux nickname that is the brutal reality. I have always said that if UND can’t be the Fighting Sioux than it should simply be “North Dakota” I know there are some that don’t like that idea. There are many UND fans that like that idea as well.
For the sake of the Alumni and school – the powers that be better tread lightly in selecting the next nickname for the University of North Dakota, there needs to be a cooling off period and the law that the state reverted back to says that no name will be selected until 2015.
There should be no hurry to select a new nickname – there are going to be some; especially the ones that wanted UND to lose the Fighting Sioux nickname in the first place, these people will try and push UND into selecting a new nickname immediately and they are going to push the issue. Those people need to have the brakes put on them. Any nickname going forward should have the input of the UND Alumni, current students and Faculty and Staff.
If not we are going to end up with a stupid nickname like “Sundogs” and we can’t let that happen.