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History

 

In 1966, UNDIA was formed when UND students from surrounding reservations and American Indian communities found an alien environment on the UND campus. At that time, UND Athletics used the caricature "Sammy Sioux" as the mascot along with the Fighting Sioux logo.

Among these students, who brought this issue to UND's Administration, were David Gipp, president of United Tribes Technical College; Gerald 'Carty' Monette, president of Turtle Mountain Community College; Twila Martin Kekahbah, former tribal chairperson of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa; Ken W. Davis, former BIA; Dennis Demontigney, Mary Couchi, David Ripple, David Garcia, Denise Lajiomodiere and a few others.

These students claimed their alienation from the student body could be attributed, in part, to the use of the mascot and logo. They strongly believed the mascot and logo provided an opportunity for derogatory activities.

In 1969, to make an effort to resolve the problem, former UND President Tom Clifford funded the 1st Annual Time Out Week and Wacipi (wah-chee-pee) as a way to educate UND campus and Grand Forks community about American Indian people and cultures.

In the 1990's, former UND President Kendall Baker, in another attempt to resolve the ongoing discontent, changed the cartoonish Black Hawk-like logo to a geometric abstract form. Bennett Brien, member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, has designed the most recent illustration of the Fighting Sioux logo. Although few would disagree that the illustration is respectful, it has not aided the fight against discrimination that still occurs today on UND campus.

With the recent ruling of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to limit UND's use of the logo and stating that it creates a "hostile and abusive" environment, many American Indian students have been pressured to pick a side.

In 2006, UNDIA voted in an open general membership meeting that its stance was against UND's use of the Fighting Sioux name and logo.