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Published November 10, 2011, 07:21 PM

As Fighting Sioux Nickname Retirement Looms, Focus Turns to Historic Preservation

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - The Fighting Sioux nickname is getting closer to its retirement and school officials are talking about what to do next.

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - The Fighting Sioux nickname is getting closer to its retirement and school officials are talking about what to do next.

Although the Fighting Sioux logo and nickname may be retired, it will always live on behind the doors of the Chester Fritz Library.

A task force worked on preserving 80 years of history for nearly eight months, talking to librarians and archival organizations.

"It is such an important part of our history and it does need to be documented and preserved for future generations," Curt Hanson with Chester Fritz special collections said.

But the group disbanded last spring when the legislature passed a law requiring UND to keep the nickname and now that it has been repealed, there may be another group in the future.

"There are sort of multiple pieces here. Some is transitioning away from the current nickname and logo but certainly a part of that is 'how do you capture that history and how do you make sure you treat that properly going forward?'" UND media relations coordinator Peter Johnson said.

The department of special collections helped the task force and will continue to find ways to keep the history alive.

"I wanted to do things like talk to people, see if people had material they wanted to donate to the archives. I had talked about perhaps doing a digital exhibit on the history of the logo and nickname," Hanson said.

Ideas that could be implemented in the future, as the department collects historical artifacts and items of a nickname that will never be forgotten.

"Obviously the bill just passed so we'll get together soon to be talking that through," Johnson said.

"We are truly living in historic times for the history of this university and I'm very excited to have a role in preserving that history," Hanson said.

Hanson talked with other institutions that retired their nickname and logo to see how they preserved history with things like newspaper clippings, artifacts and documentation. Those are things the university does and will continue to do.

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