Originally written on Goon's World  |  Last updated 11/12/14
Here is the latest news in the on-going nickname debate. Here is the link to the brief that the Committee for Understanding and Respect file in court. [Click to view]
Chuck Haga, Grand Forks Herald ---The issue before the North Dakota Supreme Court “involves more than choosing between the Legislature and the State Board of Higher Education and its powers to keep or retire the ‘Fighting Sioux’ name,” defenders of the nickname argue in a brief filed with the court late Tuesday.

Because elders of the Standing Rock and Spirit Lake Sioux tribes “gave the name ‘Fighting Sioux’ to UND in 1969 in the context of a Sioux religious ceremony,” the two tribes “must be joined as indispensable parties” under state rules of civil procedure, according to the brief filed late Tuesday by attorneys representing Spirit Lake’s pro-nickname Committee for Understanding and Respect.

They argue that “the 1969 sacred Sioux ceremony giving the Fighting Sioux name to the University of North Dakota constitutes a religious function preventing civil interference,” and that it — along with Spirit Lake’s 2009 vote and council action favoring the nickname’s use — meets the NCAA’s requirement that UND obtain authorization from the two namesake tribes. The filing is in response to Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem’s request to the court for a declaration that the nickname law adopted by the Legislature last spring is unconstitutional and that a prospective referral of the November repeal of that law be kept off the June primary election ballot.


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