Chancellor to be involved in Fighting Sioux nickname discussions

Grand Forks, North Dakota (AP) 11-07

North Dakota’s university system chancellor indicates he would support retiring the University of North Dakota’s Fighting Sioux nickname in less than three years if the school and Sioux tribes cannot agree to continue it.

Bill Goetz said he will be involved in organizing meetings with education officials and the tribes.

A settlement between UND and the NCAA reached lduring October gives UND three years to lobby for support of the nickname and logo among the state’s Sioux tribes. If it does not get that support, the nickname and logo will be retired.

“I am going to help drive the process, but I haven’t talked that through with anybody,” Goetz said Thursday, at the Board of Higher Education meeting in Devils Lake. “It is my hope that we will come to some sort of resolution sooner rather than later.”

The NCAA considers the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo to be hostile and abusive. UND officials dispute that.

A member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council said council members voted recently to reaffirm their opposition to the nickname and logo. The vote Friday was 8-1, but two members chose not to vote and six others were absent, council member David Bird said.

UND spokesman Peter Johnson said he had not seen resolution and would not comment on the vote without reviewing it. He said school officials are looking forward to discussions with both the Standing Rock Sioux and Spirit Lake Sioux tribes.