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Published April 14, 2010, 07:30 PM

Board May Rethink Sioux Nickname Retirement If Tribal Approval Given

The Standing Rock Tribe is drafting a policy for having a referendum vote on UND's use of the Fighting Sioux nickname. Board member Grant Shaft says if consent and long term agreements from both Sioux tribes are done before November 30th, board would likely revisit issue.

By: David Schwab, WDAZ

North Dakota Higher Ed Board member Grand Shaft says two things would have to happen before the board would reconsider its decision to retire the Fighting Sioux logo.

Grant Shaft / ND Higher Education Board Member: "We would need written consent from both Tribes. That would satisfy the NCAA requirements. That would take care of issues such as the Ralph Engelstad arena."

Shaft says the second requirement would be a binding long term agreement with both the Spirit Lake and Standing Rock tribes. Spirit Lake held a public vote which supported UND's use of the nickname; Standing Rock has not held such a vote. However, the Standing Rock Tribe is drafting a policy now for holding a referendum vote. With that policy the tribal council could approves a public vote there on the issue.

Grant Shaft / ND Higher Education Board Member: "We can not have this issue revisited every time there is a tribal council election. Every time there is a tribal council election. Say we have to have to know for many reasons that it's here for a long time."

Shaft says says since the tribes are sovereign nations, it's not just as simple as getting permission from the tribes.

Grand Shaft : "It's a complicated process, but it would appear that to get a binding contract it would involve some notices and hearings that would have to take place across the state. It's a difficult process."

Shaft says if the board were presented with written consents and binding long term agreements from both tribes prior to November 30th, it would be compelling for the board to revisit the Sioux logo issue.

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