Eighth Circuit Upholds Dismissal of Spirit Lake Tribe ex rel Committee of Understanding and Respect v. N.C.A.A.

Opinion here.

The Spirit Lake Tribe of Indians, by its Committee of Understanding and Respect, and Archie Fool Bear, individually and as representative of more than 1,004
members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe – collectively, “the Committee” – sued the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for interfering with the University of North Dakota’s use of the Fighting Sioux name, logo, and imagery. The NCAA moved to dismiss. The district court1 treated the motion as one for summary judgment and granted it. The Committee appeals. This court affirms.

Previous coverage here.

Eighth Circuit Briefs in Fighting Sioux Appeal

Here are the briefs in Spirit Lake Tribe of Sioux Indians ex rel. Committee of Understanding and Respect v. NCAA:

CUR Appellant Brief

NCAA Appellee Brief

CUR Reply

Oral argument is Feb. 14.

Lower court materials and commentary here. And, yes, I stand by my comments in that post. If the CA8 doesn’t affirm in an unpublished memorandum or simply without comment, I would be surprised.

UND Students’ Civil Rights Suit against North Dakota Board of Higher Education over Fighting Sioux Dismissed

Here are the materials in Annis v. Dalrymple (D. N.D.):

DCT Order Dismissing Annis Complaint

ND Board of Higher Ed Motion to Dismiss

Plaintiffs Response

ND Board Reply

The complaint was here. News coverage here.

Federal Court Dismisses $10M Suit by Spirit Lake Members (“Committee for Understanding and Respect”) over Fighting Sioux Name and Logo

Here are the materials in Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe ex rel. Committee of Understanding and Respect v. NCAA (D. N.D.):

DCT Order Granting NCAA Motion

NCAA Motion to Dismiss

Committee Response

NCAA Reply

We posted the complaint here.

Given what I saw in my two years at UND (here is a snippet), I can’t let this go without comment. I just returned from Boulder, attending a conference in honor of David Getches, the leader in American Indian treaty rights litigation. He fought for the very survival of Indian people and Indian tribes, for the right to fish guaranteed by treaty … really for the right to exist. I see this “Committee” assert treaty rights for something as pitiful as a university sports team’s name and logo, despite all of the negative consequences of this name and logo for UND students and faculty, and I am ashamed. I find this assertion of treaty rights deeply offensive. I assume that the 1969 treaty at issue was made in good faith, but treaties between Indian people and others are made for better things than this. So much has been done in good faith by the opponents and proponents of the name and logo. But nothing good can come from the name and logo after all that has happened. Absolutely nothing.

Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe ex rel. Committee of Understanding and Respect v. NCAA Complaint

Here: Complaint

Ok, so is this really the Spirit Lake Sioux Nation? What is the Committee of Respect and Understanding? They are the same people who sued the State of North Dakota (unsuccessfully — Davidson v. State) in the last couple years seeking the same relief from the State Board of Education. Paragraph 4 of the complaint alleges they are “authorized by the Spirit Lake Tribe to act on its behalf and proceed in any legal manner it deems appropriate to assure that the University of North Dakota (UND) shall remain known as the ‘Fighting Sioux.'” Here is a link to Dr. Erich Longie’s blog, “Dakota Hoksina,” that strongly suggests the Committee of Respect and Understanding represents very few people at Spirit Lake and Standing Rock — and perhaps not the Nation, either. He probably doesn’t represent anyone either, but seems to have about the same authority as the Committee.

And who is “tribal attorney” Reed Soderstrom? His only prior Indian law experience appears to be in foreclosing on the mortgage of a Turtle Mountain Chippewa member, and his vehicle (Gustafson v Poitra and Ford Motor Credit v Poitra).

ICT coverage here.

What’s going on????

CNN on the North Dakota “Fighting Sioux” Controversy

Here (via one of our Senior Canadian Correspondents). An excerpt:

The kerfuffle at hand dates to 2007, when the North Dakota Board of Higher Education agreed to retire the Fighting Sioux nickname by August 15, 2011, in accordance with the NCAA’s then-2-year-old policy on Native American mascots. If they ultimately chose not to do so, costly NCAA sanctions were promised, including the inability to host any championships and a ban on the use of the school’s logo or nickname at any championship events.

After Gov. Jack Dalrymple signed House Bill 1263 into law this year, the school was left with the dilemma of having to either disobey the government that controls its purse-strings or to flout the rules of the NCAA, the entity that controls the arguably mightier purse-strings of college football.

The nickname controversy appeared to be closer to a resolution Friday when Dalrymple and other state officials traveled to Indianapolis to meet with NCAA officials in a last-ditch effort to resolve the matter.


American Indian Students at UND File Suit over “Fighting Sioux” Nickname/State Legislation

Here is the complaint in Annis v. Dalrymple (D. N.D.):

Complaint and Jury Trial Demand

And the press release:

University of North Dakota Native American Students

File Suit to Prevent “Fighting Sioux” Nickname, Logo and Imagery

Seek damages after Legislature mandates use of the nickname Continue reading

Stuart Rieke on UND Fighting Sioux Nickname

From the Grand Forks Herald via Pechanga:

FARGO — As an English instructor at the Sisseton Wahpeton Tribal College in Sisseton, S.D., I collected from a young Dakota woman a paper that mused on the collective virtue of cultural humility.

She wrote: “It becomes clear to me that humility emanates from happiness.”

I find this beautiful statement to be sweetly representative of my personal experience with American Indians and also illustrative of the problems with UND’s nickname, “The Fighting Sioux.”

I would contend that the young lady’s connection between happiness and humility creates a better understanding of the “Fighting Sioux” logo issue than the old pro-logo arguments.

For me, her paper pinpoints keys to realizing some things important about American Indian people: traditionally, they want happiness, not fanfare; currently, they prefer humility to fanfare; most often, they connect humility to happiness and fanfare to unhappiness.

Even the most famous of American Indian historical figures, Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, both accomplished fighting men, are purported to have seen humility — not bragging or unwanted visibility — as keys to life and happiness, as shown in author Joseph Marshall III’s book, “The Lakota Way.”

“Humility” is the first chapter. Continue reading