FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Voters cast ballots Tuesday to resolve a bitter dispute over whether the University of North Dakota should save or scrap its Fighting Sioux nickname, even as supporters of the moniker promised to resume the battle this fall regardless of the outcome.
The issue has been simmering on the campus for decades but boiled over seven years ago when UND was placed on a list of schools with American Indian nicknames the NCAA deemed hostile and abusive. Those colleges were told to dump the names or risk sanctions against their athletic teams.
Voters in Tuesday’s North Dakota primary are being asked whether to uphold or reject the Legislature’s repeal of a state law requiring the school to continue using the nickname and American Indian head logo. A “yes” vote would seemingly retire the nickname, but even that may be temporary.