Posts Tagged ‘Lakota’

North Dakota Racism Referendum

June 13, 2012

North Dakota Racism Referendum

In a referendum yesterday, North Dakotans voted to retire their state university’s “Fighting Sioux” nickname and symbols. We cannot confirm the rumor that University of North Dakota teams will henceforth be called the “Fighting Space Aliens” (above: new team logo?).

The North Dakota state legislature had passed a law directing UND to use the “Fighting Sioux” nickname and logo in perpetuity even though many constituents feel the practice is racist. “Sioux” is derived from an Ojibwe term for the Lakota people, many of whom live in the state, and is often regarded as an insult. The NCAA considers racial and ethnic logos and mascots “hostile and abusive” and sanctions teams for their use, and UND is one of the last holdouts. Perhaps this referendum will convince the National Football League to change the name and logo of the “Washington Ethnic Slurs.”

North Dakota ballot measure results here.


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Image “North Dakota Fighting Space Aliens”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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