Chuck Haga, Grand Forks Herald – In what may well be the final chapter in the long, contentious fight over UND’s Fighting Sioux nickname, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today affirmed a lower court’s judgment against the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe in its effort to save the nickname.
More than three months after impassioned arguments in St. Paul, the appeals court upheld the ruling last year by U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Erickson that the tribe lacked standing to sue the NCAA over its policy discouraging the use of American Indian names and images by member schools.
“The committee has not shown that the NCAA acted with discriminatory intent,” the appeals court stated in its opinion. “There is no evidence that the NCAA enacted the policy in order to eradicate Sioux culture, as the committee alleges.”
The appeals court also discounted the committee’s primary contention, that Spirit Lake and Standing Rock Sioux elders authorized use of the name by UND in a 1969 ceremony.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Friday, August 24, 2012
Chuck Haga, Grand Forks Herald --- While the 1969 ceremony has been central to the nickname defenders’ campaign, the discrimination claim had not been made before, the NCAA responded in its filing Wednesday. But “even if plaintiffs had pled and preserved this claim, it has no support in fact or law” and no further oral argument is warranted.My question to you, is the NCAA policy banning the use of Native American images and nicknames by sports teams during postseason discriminatory against Native Americans?
“However sincere plaintiffs’ antipathy toward the NCAA or the policy, as the district court correctly held, they lack standing to sue,” NCAA attorney Jonathan Duncan wrote. Their appeal, he added, “is as procedurally improper as it is futile.”
Nothing in law or in the case record supports the Spirit Lake committee’s “fanciful argument that the NCAA intentionally adopted the policy as an ‘anti-Sioux’ measure designed to cause UND to repudiate its obligation under a 40-year-old oral agreement,” a claim “never asserted before now.”
Spirit Lake’s committee and Fool Bear have until Sept. 5 to respond.
Even if their appeal fails, the pro-nickname forces have said they intend to continue collecting signatures on petitions to force an initiated measure on the issue, likely in June 2014. An effort to restore the nickname through referendum failed in June.
In conclusion, I don’t know how you would prove in a court of law that the NCAA’s Policy is discriminatory against Native Americans? Most likely the evidence would be anecdotal evidence and hard to prove. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, however, I can see this lawsuit being thrown out as well.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
vote. I personally was expecting more like a 54-46 split than a vote of yes (67.35%) – No 55,114 (32.65%).
Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - It has been a hot-button issue for years. The much talked about, much debated Fighting Sioux nickname debate. Voters are trying to decide, once and for all, whether to retire it or keep it and risk sanction by the NCAA.I was only able to find one county Billings that voted for the Fighting Sioux nickname No 150 - Yes 148. Another head scratcher was the low turnout at the Spirit Lake Tribe’s voting stations yesterday. According to WDAZ there were only 50 ballots counted by early yesterday afternoon – my question is where were the voters from the Spirit Lake Tribe yesterday?
Yes: 113,684 (67.35%)
No: 55,114 (32.65%)
426/426 Precincts reporting
A "Yes" vote retires the nickname. A "No" vote requires U-N-D to keep it.
Friday, June 01, 2012
Here is the latest in the Fighting Sioux nickname – A notice of intent to appeal was filed with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this week by lawyer Reed Soderstrom – I am not a lawyer by any stretch of the imagination, nor did I stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night, but I cant see an appeals courting taking this case. I am going to predict that the appeal will be thrown out as well. Maybe one of our resident lawyers can give us some free legal advice...
Chuck Haga, Grand Forks Herald --- Fighting Sioux nickname supporters at the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe have signaled they intend to appeal U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson’s dismissal of their lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association. A notice of intent to appeal was filed with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this week by Reed Soderstrom, a Minot attorney who represents the pro-nickname Committee for Understanding and Respect, which sued the NCAA over its efforts to have UND drop the nickname and related Indian-head logo. The committee, authorized by Tribal Council action to speak for the tribe on matters relating to the nickname and logo, had sought at least $10 million in damages from the NCAA. It also sought reversal of the 2005 NCAA policy discouraging use of American Indian names and imagery by member schools.
I love the Fighting Sioux nickname, and there is no way that the school will ever be able to replace the Fighting Sioux nickname with anything that I consider to be acceptable, but I don’t see any way UND can keep the name “unless” the Spirit Lake Tribe wins it’s appeal against the NCAA, the cards are stacked against them this time as well. I also would love nothing more than to see the NCAA lose their law suit – I think they deserved to have that happen to them because I think they are a bunch of hypocrites. I am not holding my breath but I hope the Tribe wins.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Here is the video that came out yesterday for the Vote yes on Ballot Measure 4. Someone posted this new video on Sioux Sports this morning, I apologize if you have seen it already.
This story has taken so many twists and turns that sometimes I have to look twice to see who is doing the talking. You probably watched the video above - the Spirit Lake Tribe's Committee for Understanding and Respect is not happy with the UND Alumni Association for running ads in favor of retiring the Fighting Sioux nickname.
Chuck Haga, Grand Forks Herald --- In a lengthy statement released by the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe’s Committee for Understanding and Respect and the Save the Sioux Ballot Measures Committee, nickname supporters objected to the claim that “our name and likeness” could hurt UND, its student athletes and the athletics program.
“We resent this fabricated distortion and lie as an attempt to disguise the truth by creating a fear in the public,” which according to the statement has shown “overwhelming support” for use of the Sioux name at UND.
“The Sioux name and symbol instilled pride, honor and respect in (UND) athletes and filled them with the Fighting Sioux spirit,” according to the statement.
“We now find 80 years of tradition and culture under a senseless attack by those who have previously embraced these traditions and culture. This is an attack at the heart and soul of UND from within.”
Other diehard nickname supporters, including some UND alumni, have sharply criticized Tim O’Keefe, executive vice president of the alumni groups, for “abandoning” a nickname he once heartily supported and a logo he wore as a UND Fighting Sioux hockey player.
I love the Fighting Sioux nickname and I think it’s the best logo in all of college sports or professional sports – nothing that they replace the Fighting Sioux nickname with will ever be good enough in my opinion. I have never wavered from that opinion, but like other Alumni that have actually attended class at the University of North Dakota, I know that UND can’t go on forever with the Fighting Sioux nickname and I don’t want to see the University hurt by the sanctions.
Wednesday, November 09, 2011
Adam from the Sioux jersey blog posted this on twitter and I think UND's next hockey jersey is going to look a lot like this.
Brad Schlossman said, "They [UND] already have designs for them [Jerseys]."
Brad Schlossman said, "They [UND] already have designs for them [Jerseys]."
Monday, October 31, 2011
SayAnythingBlog.com and Plains Daily also has picked up on the story as well. I have no idea where this is going.
Chuck Haga; Grand Forks Herald ---- Fighting Sioux nickname champions at Spirit Lake say they will make “a major announcement” Tuesday in their campaign to thwart retirement of the name and logo.
Members of the Committee for Understanding and Respect, acting with the blessing of the Spirit Lake Tribal Council, have scheduled a news conference at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Spirit Lake Tribal Headquarters in Fort Totten, N.D.
Frank Black Cloud, the designated spokesman for the committee, said today that members of the committee, their attorneys and perhaps a Tribal Council representative would make statements, but he could not comment on the nature of the announcement. A news release issued today by the group provided no other details.
Eunice Davidson, a leader of the effort to preserve the Fighting Sioux name at UND, also declined to comment.
In a statement released Oct. 13, the committee denounced remarks by UND President Robert Kelley and Grant Shaft, president of the State Board of Higher Education, both of whom have urged repeal of a state law ordering UND to retain the nickname.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Color me surprised!!! You just knew it was just a matter of time before this story came to the forefront of the Fighting Sioux nickname issue. I am not sure if I am the only one that sees this, but it always seems to be the same people that are being consulted on the anti-Fighting Sioux nickname issue. At times I have also wondered why the anti-Fighting Sioux nickname crowd seems to get the lion’s share of the press when it comes to people that are against the Fighting Sioux nickname?
Chuck Haga; Grand Forks Herald --- Several Fighting Sioux nickname opponents at the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe have written an open letter to Grant Shaft, president of the state Board of Higher Education, saying they are “embarrassed by the threats our fellow tribal members are making on behalf of the Spirit Lake Nation” over efforts to retire the name and logo.
Late last week, the pro-nickname Committee for Understanding and Respect warned the state board, UND and others looking to drop the symbols that they should expect consequences “far more severe than any sanctions UND claims will exist by keeping the name.”
The committee’s efforts to preserve the Fighting Sioux name and logo at UND have been endorsed by the tribal council, which adopted a resolution authorizing the group to speak for the tribe. That followed a 2009 referendum in which a substantial majority of tribal members approved UND’s continued use of the name.
But Erich Longie, a longtime advocate for UND dropping the nickname and logo, and 10 others told Shaft that they speak for the minority of more than 300 tribal members who voted “no” in that referendum.
Friday, October 14, 2011
The Fighting Sioux nickname issues just got more and more interesting. I guess Frank Black Cloud wasn't kidding when he said, "watch the paper you going to see a big wave coming from this way" during an interview with Scott Hennen back on August 15th, 2011.
Here is the latest development in the on going saga with the Fighting Sioux nickname. The Tribe from Spirit Lake is fighting to keep the Fighting Sioux nickname and they are unamused with the NCAA and the Big Sky Conference. The Spirit Lake Tribe also wrote a three page letter to the University of North Dakota, the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education, the Big Sky Conference, and the National Collegiate Athletic Administration. Here is a link to the letter.
Chuck Haga; Grand Forks Herald --- In a statement released by the Committee for Understanding and Respect, which has been authorized by the Spirit Lake Tribal Council to speak for the tribe on the nickname issue, the committee warned UND, the state board, the NCAA and the Big Sky Conference to stop acting “against our honorable name as given to UND by our ancestors.”It looks like the Spirit Lake Tribe "could" end up suing UND, NCAA the NDSBoHE and the Big Sky conference if the Fighting Sioux nickname is retired.
If those organizations don’t stop working to retire the name, they should expect consequences “far more severe than any sanctions UND claims will exist by keeping our name,” according to the statement.
The committee also said Kelley and Shaft should resign their positions for failing in leadership.
Frank Black Cloud, a committee spokesman, said he was “not at liberty to say” what the “more severe” consequences might be.
Friday, October 07, 2011
Image via WikipediaThis issue doesn't seem to be going away and time soon and it appears that it's going to linger on for some time to come. The only thing that is going to sway the NCAA and the Big Sky Conference is if Standing Rock Tribe gives UND permission to use the Fighting Sioux nickname. The NCAA and the Big Sky Conference do no care if the Spirit Lake Sioux approve of the name or not.
Chuck Haga, Grand Forks Herald --- Fighting Sioux nickname supporters at the Spirit Lake Sioux Reservation have again contacted the Big Sky Conference commissioner to underscore their commitment to seeing UND continue using the name.Like I have said in the past, I think it's funny that the NCAA and the Big Sky Conference are unmoved by the efforts of the Group from Spirit Lake to keep the Fighting Sioux nickname, this is not a group from Ralph Englestad Arena, Grand Forks or Fargo, ND. This an actual group from the Spirit Lake Nation, and this group represents this wishes of the Spirit Lake Tribe. The NCAA claims the nickname is hostile and abusive but the Spirit Lake Tribe disagrees with the NCAA. Without the approval of the Standing Rock Sioux the point is mute and the NCAA and the Big Sky Conference will continue to be unmoved.
In a letter dated Sept. 30, leaders of the Committee for Understanding and Respect reminded Commissioner Doug Fullerton that they speak for the tribe, citing a resolution adopted by the Tribal Council on Sept. 2.
The resolution, adopted unanimously, noted that the council and an earlier tribal referendum “affirmatively approved and supported UND’s use of the name and imagery of the Fighting Sioux.”
With the “overwhelming support of the people of this tribe,” the resolution continued, the tribe “entrusted UND with the responsibility of working with the tribe to increase the number of Native American graduates from Spirit Lake and create a Native American program on the UND campus which would bring respect and understanding amongst all students, faculty and staff at UND.”
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Image via WikipediaThis is an interesting story that I found in the New York Daily News. To be honest with you I didn't expect to read a story like this in a newspaper from New York City, but it's refreshing to read none-the-less.
New York Daily News --- Native American tribe officials are battling to save the University of North Dakota's Fighting Sioux nickname. Members of the Spirit Lake Tribe are working to block the controversial removal of the nickname and the school's Indian head logo. KXMB TV Bismarck is reporting an injunction has been filed in tribal court seeking to stop the retirement and force the transfer of the Fighting Sioux licensing and merchandising rights to the Spirit Lake Sioux tribe.
NCAA officials forced UND to retire the nickname because of political correctness and have threatened sanctions against the school unless it removed the Sioux nickname. Ironically, the very people who the NCAA claims should be offended love the nickname. Frank Black Cloud, spokesperson for Spirit Lake Nation, says the use of the nickname has always been respectful of the Sioux nation and is a source of pride.
"We gave UND permission years ago. This was a gift and that's what the NCAA doesn't understand. Nobody has the right to take that gift away except a Sioux tribe and the only reason we would take it away is if they were doing dishonor to the Sioux name -- and the aren't doing that. They are holding it respectfully and with honor and in its tradition."
- Native American Tribe Defends Fighting Sioux Logo (indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com)
- Couple of Fighting Sioux nickname issues... (mvn.com)
- Fighting Sioux logo links... (mvn.com)
- Fighitng Sioux nickname: New Senate leader sees repeal of law (mvn.com)