Tribal members: We want voice on nickname debate

Fargo, North Dakota (AP) April 2012

An attorney for an American Indian group suing the NCAA to try and save the University of North Dakota’s Fighting Sioux nickname says the namesake tribes should be heard.

Reed Soderstrom argued in federal court that the Spirit Lake and Standing Rock Sioux tribes did not have a seat at the table when the NCAA and the state of North Dakota negotiated a settlement agreement on the moniker.

The deal called for UND to retire the nickname if it did not get approval from both of the state’s Sioux tribes by December 2010. Only Spirit Lake passed a resolution supporting the name.  

An NCAA attorney said that the complaint has no legal basis and should be dismissed.

Judge Ralph Erickson said he would rule “in the near future.”