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Published November 01, 2011, 10:58 AM

Spirit Lake Nation Suing NCAA

(AP) — Some Spirit Lake tribal members say they are suing the NCAA in federal court to support the University of North Dakota's Fighting Sioux nickname.

By: WDAZ Staff Report, WDAZ

(AP) — Some Spirit Lake tribal members say they are suing the NCAA in federal court to support the University of North Dakota's Fighting Sioux nickname.

Attorney Reed Soderstrom said in a statement Tuesday that the NCAA's threat of sanctions if UND does not drop the nickname and logo violates religious and constitutional rights of the tribes.

Soderstrom says both of the state's namesake tribes have approved use of the nickname. He says Spirit Lake members voted overwhelmingly in 2009 to allow UND to keep it, and a sacred religious ceremony by Standing Rock tribal leaders in 1969 granted perpetual use of the moniker.

A state judge in 2009 threw out a similar lawsuit by a handful of Spirit Lake members.

NCAA officials were not immediately available for comment.

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