University of North Dakota's nickname battle may be headed to the statewide ballot in 2012

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November 30, 2011

By Bailey Ludlam

BISMARK, North Dakota: Following continued legal battles about the University of North Dakota's "Fighting Sioux" nickname, the fight may be headed to the North Dakota 2012 ballot.

The proposed measure would allow for the University of North Dakota to use the "Fighting Sioux" nickname. The measure is proposed by members of the Spirit Lake Sioux tribe.[1]

Tribal members have filed a federal lawsuit against the NCAA in an effort to invalidate the policy against member colleges using American Indian nicknames and logos for their sports teams.[1]

According to reports, the University of North Dakota wants to get rid of its 81-year-old nickname after a dispute with the NCAA. The NCAA argues that the name, the "Fighting Sioux," and logo are offensive to Native Americans. The NCAA has allowed some schools to keep their nicknames by getting permission from tribes. In North Dakota, the Spirit Lake Sioux tribe has endorsed the nickname but the Standing Rock Sioux tribe has not.[1]

Supporters are required to collect and submit a minimum of 26,904 valid signatures by August 8, 2012 in order to qualify the proposed measure for the 2012 statewide ballot.

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