The news is reporting that the long, emotional, and political fight over the nickname of the University
of North Dakota appears to have ended. On Thursday, the North Dakota Board of Higher Education decided to retire the school’s “Fighting Sioux” nickname and logo, and that the university must begin the transition.
The nickname has been at issue for many years, drawing protests and eventually earning the ire of the NCAA.
The NCAA banned Native American imagery in nicknames or mascots. They were labeled “hostile and abusive.” North Dakota fought from the start, suing the NCAA for the right to keep the nickname. The sides settled, with the stipulation that “Fighting Sioux” would go away if UND couldn’t get tribal support.
Last year, the board voted to retire the nickname and logo, provided the school was unable to get the blessing of the two tribes in the state to continue using the name. While the Spirit Lake tribe voted
overwhelmingly to support its continued use, the Standing Rock tribe never voted. The university had until November to gain their approval, but the board apparently decided they had waited long enough.