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Published April 10, 2010, 06:09 PM

Native American Students Worried About Nickname Reaction

The Fighting Sioux nickname issue has been heard around the nation and has effected many people on both sides of the issue.

The Fighting Sioux nickname issue has been heard around the nation and has effected many people on both sides of the issue.

The vote Thursday by the State board of Higher Education to retire the Fighting Sioux nickname has been very controversial. But American Indian Student Services Director Leigh Jeanotte says it was time to make the decision.

Leigh Jeanotte/American Indian Student Services Director: "Its a good decision, its a decision that I think that is going to pull the institution together. "

Since the decision, there has been a lot of blame placed on Native American students on sites like Facebook and around campus.

Frank Sage/First Year Grad Student: "They had been pretty disrespectful, and there is a lot of anger out there, and people say they are sad, but they are targeting their anger to Native American students."

Leigh Jeanotte/American Indian Student Services Director: "Quite honestly I think a lot of this is being directed to the American Indian students quite unfairly American Indian Students and programs have never had a voice in this matter and this is a decision of the State Bored of Higher education."

Jeanotte says he knows that people are going to be upset about the decision and is hoping that in time people will understand the decision, but they have to look at the issue from both sides.

Leigh Jeanotte/American Indian Student Services Director: " I understand that they are hurt and I empathize with them as well but you have to realize the hurt that they are feeling is the same hurt that our American Indian students have been have experienced for thirty some years. "

Since the decision to retire the nickname, American Indian Student Services has had security at the building in fear of public reaction. But some Native American students say it will be worth it in the long run because the Fighting Sioux nickname has negatively impacted those across the nation.

BJ Rainbow/UND Indian Association President: "The even more importantly this name is not just Standing Rock and Spirit Lake we have tribes in Minnesota, Montana, Manitoba and South Dakota that have this name to. "

Leigh Jeanotte would like to remind you that not all Native Americans were against the the nickname and not all of them are Sioux.

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