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Published December 09, 2009, 05:29 PM

Judge Deciding Whether to Lift Nickname Restraining Order

The State Board of Higher Education will have to wait a little longer to see if a temporary restraining order stopping them from taking action on the future of the Fighting Sioux nickname will be lifted. That's what a district judge said during a court hearing today.

By: Steve Bodakowski, WDAZ

The State Board of Higher Education will have to wait a little longer to see if a temporary restraining order stopping them from taking action on the future of the Fighting Sioux nickname will be lifted.

That's what a district judge said during a court hearing today.

Today the State Board of Higher Education had their chance to tell a judge why he should lift a restring order filed against them last month.

The order was placed on the board on November 9th after the Spirit Lake Committee For Understanding and Respect said the board has no right to change the original contract they signed with the NCAA and must honor it.

John Chaske: "To me its like they're on a mission to terminate the name regardless, its very disrespectful."

John Chaske is a Sioux nickname supporter. He testified that early retirement before the original November 2010 NCAA settlement date would cause irreparable harm. The committee showed the judge a flag ceremony held during a recent hockey game.Their attorney say the video proves the name is a tool to educate non natives and without it their heritage will fade out.

Pat Morley: "If the name is gone recognition and respect for their culture and opportunities to address them are gone too."

The state says it doesn't matter. The hearing is to decide if the restraining order should be lifted, not to gauge tribal opinion. They say the original contract doesn't specify if they can decide on early retirement, and that the committee has no say in the decision.

Doug Bahr: "The plaintiffs have not pointed out a single part of the agreement that says the name can't be changed until the end of the approval period that the state, the board or UND have bound itself."

District Judge Michael Sturdevant says he will make a decision to lift or uphold the restraining order by Christmas.

The Spirit Lake tribe has already given UND perpetually use of the name and logo.

They hope the Standing Rock tribe will have their own vote which has not happened yet.

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