North Dakota Fighting Sioux

North Dakota Fighting Sioux
North Dakota Fighting Sioux
North Dakota Fighting Sioux Logo.svg
University University of North Dakota
Conference(s) Great West Conference
Western Collegiate Hockey Association (Hockey)
NCAA Division I
Athletics director Brian Faison
Location Grand Forks, ND
Varsity teams 23
Football stadium Alerus Center
Basketball arena Betty Engelstad Sioux Center
Other arenas Ralph Engelstad Arena
Mascot None
Nickname N/A
Fight song Fight On Sioux
It's For You, North Dakota U
Stand Up and Cheer
Colors Kelly Green, White, and Black

              

Homepage FightingSioux.com

The North Dakota Fighting Sioux are the athletic teams of the University of North Dakota (UND), which is located in the city of Grand Forks, North Dakota, in the United States. The logo is a Native American figure. The logo was designed by Bennett Brien, a local artist and UND graduate of Ojibwa ethnicity.

Contents

Athletics

UND began transitioning to NCAA's Division I in 2008. The football program is in Division I's Football Championship Subdivision and participate as members of the Great West Conference for most sports, as well as the Western Collegiate Hockey Association for men's and women's ice hockey, and Conference USA for men's and women's swimming & diving.

On November 1, 2010 the university accepted an invitation to join the Big Sky Conference.[1][2] In June 2011, the Big Sky warned UND about the ramifications of continued use of the Fighting Sioux nickname, including possible removal from the conference.[3]

Sports

Men's sports

Women's sports

Football

The men's football program has also been growing in stature and popularity in recent years. All home football games are held in the Alerus Center.

Ice hockey (men's)

Having won seven national championships, the men's hockey team is easily the most recognized and enshrined of all teams at UND. They play in the $100+ million Ralph Engelstad Arena. The arena has been called one of the greatest hockey facilities in the world.[4]

Nickname

Origin

UND's nickname was originally "The Flickertails", but was changed to "The Sioux" officially in 1930 ("Fighting" was added later). Guest editorials that appeared at that time in the UND student newspaper, the Dakota Student, noted that (1) "Sioux are a good exterminating agent for Bison" (the mascot of the nearby North Dakota State University team), (2) "They are warlike, of fine physique and bearing", and (3)"The word Sioux is easily rhymed for yells and songs".[5] The choice of the name was also influenced by the Fighting Irish athletic teams of the University of Notre Dame (another "UND").

Controversy

Critics of the name say that it is a racist stereotype, while supporters maintain it is inoffensive and a source of pride. Over the years, the debate has proven to be a divisive issue at the University. The movement to keep the nickname and logo is led by UND alumni, sports fans, and athletic players and officials, as well as the present university administration. The campaign to change the nickname and logo is led by several Native American tribes and student organizations, as well as many UND faculty members. There are two Native American Tribes that were never asked to be a part of a settlement between UND and the NCAA here is an excerpt from the agreement... “WHEREAS, UND recognizes that North Dakota Sioux Tribes, as the descendants of the indigenous people of the Northern Great Plains who UND strives to honor with its nickname, have important contributions in determining whether, to what extent and in what manner the “Sioux” name and the “Fighting Sioux” nickname or logo should continue to be used in conjunction with the athletic tradition at UND: and” Spirit Lake Tribe ( A Dakota Sioux Tribe) and the only Sioux Tribe fully within the state of North Dakota had a vote which the people spoke up in favor of the use and the "GIFT" that was given to UND by both tribe (Spirit Lake and Standing Rock) back in the 1930's. As far as many tribal members are concerned the name was given as a gift and it was reafirmed in a Pipe Ceremony (THE MOST SACRED OF TRIBAL TRADITIONS) and they feel that is not necessary for them to regive a gift that has already been given. The NCAA has refused to recognize that gift. The most powerful ally of those seeking change has become the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

In 1999, a bill was introduced in the North Dakota House of Representatives to eliminate the nickname, but died in committee.[6] In 2000, twenty-one separate Native American-related programs, departments, and organizations at UND signed a statement opposing the continued use of the nickname and logo, saying that it did not honor them or their culture.[7]

Former Fighting Sioux hockey player and wealthy alumnus Ralph Engelstad donated $100 million dollars for the construction of the Ralph Engelstad Arena. This is one of the largest philanthropic donations ever made to a public institution of higher learning. One of Engelstad's conditions for his donation was that the University keep the Fighting Sioux name indefinitely.[8] Engelstad placed thousands of Fighting Sioux logos in numerous places throughout the arena to make physical removal of the logo very costly if attempted.[9] The arena opened in 2001.

The debate reignited in 2005, following a decision by the NCAA to sanction schools with tribal logos and/or nicknames, including UND, that the NCAA deemed to be "hostile and abusive." The sanctions would not allow schools like UND to use their names or logos in post-season play and those schools would not be able to host post-season championships. After an unsuccessful appeal to reverse the sanctions, UND started to pursue their legal options.[10] On June 15, 2006, after consulting with North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, the Board of Higher Education elected 8-0 to authorize Stenehjem to sue the NCAA for penalizing the UND over its Fighting Sioux nickname and logo.[11] In November 2006, UND was granted a preliminary injunction to prevent the NCAA from enforcing the rule. On October 26, 2007, a settlement between UND and the NCAA was reached preventing the case from going to trial.[12] The settlement gives UND three years to gain support from the state's Sioux tribes to continue to use the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo.[13] If that support is not granted at the end of the three years, UND will retire the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo, remove most of the existing Fighting Sioux imagery in campus facilities, and pick a new nickname and logo to represent UND's athletic teams.

On May 14, 2009, The North Dakota State Board of Higher Education approved a motion directing UND to retire “Fighting Sioux” nickname and logo, effective October 1, 2009, with full retirement to be completed no later than August 1, 2010. This directive was to be suspended, if, prior to October 1, 2009, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and the Spirit Lake Sioux tribe gave namesake approval consistent with the terms of the Settlement Agreement. After extending the deadline for meeting this condition once, to November 30, 2009, the Board on April 8, 2010, unconditionally ordered UND to retire the Fighting Sioux nickname at the end of the 2010–11 season.[14]

The North Dakota State Board of Higher Education announced on April 8, 2010, that the Fighting Sioux nickname would be retired after the 2010–2011 athletic season.[15] The North Dakota State Board of Higher Education voted unanimously on Monday, May 10, to extend the deadline for the University of North Dakota to retire its nickname and logo to Aug. 15, 2011.[16]

On March 11, 2011, the North Dakota Senate voted to approve legislation ordering the University of North Dakota to retain its controversial Fighting Sioux nickname and Indian-head logo. The vote was 28-15 with four senators absent and not voting. Governor Jack Dalrymple signed the Fighting Sioux bill into law the following week. This law was struck down during a special session of the legislature in November 2011.[17]

References

  1. ^ "Summit League considering North Dakota for membership". ESPN. June 23, 2010. http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/news/story?id=5320178. Retrieved 2011-08-11. 
  2. ^ "Big Sky Conference poised to add 2 or 3 teams Monday". The Billings Gazette. October 31, 2010. http://billingsgazette.com/sports/college/frontier-conference/article_1214ffe8-e575-11df-bb25-001cc4c03286.html. Retrieved 2011-08-11. 
  3. ^ "UND’s Big Sky bid in jeopardy". Inforum. June 11, 2011. http://www.inforum.com/event/article/id/323060/. Retrieved 2011-08-11. (subscription required)
  4. ^ Wayne Gretzky's comments about Ralph Engelstad Areana[dead link]
  5. ^ Holly Anis, Thirty years of telling us to be honored, High Plains Reader, March 4, 1999
  6. ^ Brief history of nickname - "B.R.I.D.G.E.S." group
  7. ^ Statement to UND President Kupchella from 21 Native American-related programs at UND - "B.R.I.D.G.E.S." group
  8. ^ Ralph Engelstad's letter to UND President Kupchella - "B.R.I.D.G.E.S." group
  9. ^ Barrett, Joe (10 April 2010). "University Loses Sioux Mascot War". Wall Street Journal. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304703104575174233219665968.html?KEYWORDS=Fighting+Sioux#dummy. 
  10. ^ UND President Kupchella's open letter to the NCAA - June 7, 2006
  11. ^ Dale Wetzel, North Dakota to sue NCAA over university's Fighting Sioux nickname, Associated Press, June 15, 2006
  12. ^ "'Fighting Sioux' lawsuit settled". Associate Press. October 26, 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-10-28. http://web.archive.org/web/20071028171347/http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/more/10/26/fighting.sioux.lawsuit.ap/. Retrieved 2007-09-17. 
  13. ^ "Controversy at Ralph Engelstad Arena". www.sports-venue.info. October 31, 2007. http://www.sports-venue.info/NCAAH/Ralph_Engelstad_Arena.html. Retrieved 2007-10-31. 
  14. ^ Associated Press, Sports Briefing--Colleges: Fighting Sioux Nickname Retired, Published in New York Times, April 8, 2010
  15. ^ Mador, Jessica (April 8, 2010). "ND board: Fighting Sioux nickname is retired". Minnesota Public Radio. http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2010/04/08/nd-board-fighting-sioux-nickname-is-retired/. Retrieved 2011-08-11. 
  16. ^ "Nickname/Logo Blog - University of North Dakota Nickname". Nickname.und.edu. http://nickname.und.edu/logo/. Retrieved 2011-08-11. 
  17. ^ Barrett, Joe (November 10, 2011). "Sioux Nickname Yields". The Wall Street Journal. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204224604577028320279217872.html?mod=googlenews_wsj. Retrieved November 12, 2011. 

See also

External links


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