Letter: Tribes ignored as lawmakers fight to keep Fighting Sioux

"The North Dakota House recently passed House Bill 1263, which has been referred to the North Dakota Senate for review and possible passage.

The bill seeks to legislate the permanent use of the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo by UND’s intercollegiate athletic teams. The bill also authorizes the North Dakota attorney general to file a “federal antitrust claim” against the NCAA if the association takes “any action to penalize the University of North Dakota for using the Fighting Sioux nickname or logo.”

This bill may best be understood in relation to other bills taken up by the North Dakota House and Senate in this legislative session. We’re thinking of bills such as:

** SB 2130, which sought to improve the academic achievement, graduation rates, and college and work force readiness of American Indian students.

** SB 2051, which would enhance penalties for conviction related to discrimination and assault involving a hate crime.

** HCR 3004, which would study Indian education issues, “including a fair and equitable allocation of all state and federal education funding.”

** SB 2353, which provided for “state and political subdivision consultation and coordination with Indian tribal governments.”

** SB 2359, which would ensure that county commissioners provide at least one open polling place on a reservation on election day.

** SB 2339, which would appropriate $150,000 for programs to preserve American Indian languages."

Get the Story:
Amy Phillips, JoNell Bakke, Lori Brownshield and Brian Hayer : Lawmakers supported nickname but snubbed tribes (The Grand Forks Herald 3/7)

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