Legislating Sioux

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The Great Sioux Nation will apparently keep on fighting. Back in November the North Dakota state board of higher education decided that, in keeping with National Collegiate Athletic Association rules about mascots, the University of North Dakota athletic teams could no longer be known as the Fighting Sioux.

Many actual Sioux objected to this decision. In April the North Dakota Supreme Court ruled that the Spirit Lake tribe had no standing to prevent the state board’s decision.

In an update to this story, an Associated Press article in the Plains Daily reports that:

Rep. Al Carlson, R-Fargo, said Monday he would introduce legislation to require UND to keep its nickname and logo. The bill… orders Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem to consider filing an antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA if the association tries to sanction UND for keeping the nickname.

A separate bill, sponsored by Rep. David Monson, R-Osnabrock, says the university may not drop the nickname or logo unless the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe holds a referendum and tribal voters deny UND permission to continue using them.

Carlson called the Fighting Sioux mascot “a proud tradition” (albeit one that, um, actually only dates back to 1930). [Image via]

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Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer