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Opinion
UND President: 'Fighting Sioux' backed by tribe


"Even as we continue to take issue with the NCAA through the appeal process and possibly in court if the appeal is denied and, regardless of how that all turns out we will continue to work with the tribes to establish even greater, meaningful solidarity which will be of benefit to all. This is not only the right thing to do, it may well point to one of the best possible outcomes for the nickname issue.

Retaining our long tradition of pride in association with even our identity with the proud Sioux name, with the support of the tribes, is one perhaps the best possible positive outcome of the current dialog.

Many tribes (Utes, Seminoles, Chippewas) including our own Spirit Lake Nation have given formal support to the use of their names and imagery to schools like ours. Thus, we know it can be done. For a long time, we had the support of the Standing Rock tribe. We should be able to achieve it again.

Most if not all external opposition to the use of nicknames and imagery including that of the NCAA seems to hinge on opposition or support of namesake tribes. If we can earn broad tribal support, most if not all other opposition should end.

Most if not all campus opposition seems to be based on opposition by some tribes, and most if not all of the "trouble" over the nickname here seems to come from controversy feeding on itself. All of this could end if we were to establish even more meaningful solidarity derived from mutual support with the tribes.

For all these reasons, we are pleased to have an ongoing opportunity to discuss issues of mutual interest with tribal leaders."

Get the Story:
Charles Kupchella: With tribal leaders, UND tries to turn 'them,' 'us' to 'we' (The Grand Forks Herald 2/10)

Related Story:
UND seeks solidarity with tribes (The Grand Forks Herald 2/10)

NCAA Staff Decision on Fighting Sioux:
Statement by NCAA Senior Vice-President for Governance and Membership Bernard Franklin on University of North Dakota Review(September 28, 2005)

NCAA Policy on Indian Mascots:
NCAA Executive Committee Issues Guidelines for Use of Native American Mascots at Championship Events (August 5, 2005)

Relevant Links:
University of North Dakota - http://www.und.edu
The Ralph - http://www.theralph.com
Fighting Sioux - http://www.fightingsioux.com
NCAA Minority Opportunities and Interests Committee - http://www1.ncaa.org/eprise/main/
membership/governance/assoc-wide/moic/index.html

National Coalition on Racism in Sports and Media - http://www.aimovement.org/ncrsm

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