A Statement to President Charles Kupchella
from
21 separate Indian-related Programs at UND

University of North Dakota (UND)
From: UND Indian Related Programs
Dated and Presented: December 14, 2000

President Kupchella:

Thank you for honoring our request to meet with you.

You have publicly and repeatedly stated that the decision to keep or retain the "Fighting Sioux" nickname and related "Indian Head" logo(s) will be made by you, and you alone. It has long been the common practice of Indian related programs at UND to refrain from making public statements regarding the logo controversy, primarily because program administrators and staff did not want to risk deterring any students from accessing their services - including students who may support the University's continued use of the nickname/logo.

However, in part because of recent media events and coverage regarding various UND groups (primarily those associated with athletic departments and alumni) who support retaining the "Fighting Sioux" nickname/logo, and more importantly because your decision regarding the nickname/logo controversy will soon be made public, a number of faculty and staff members associated with Indian related programs at UND have collaborated to draft and present you with the following statement for your careful consideration, as well as for immediate release to the media.

The following UND Indian related programs and associated faculty/staff members are in full and unanimous support of discontinuing the use of the "Fighting Sioux" nickname and "Indian Head" logo(s) to represent UNDs sports teams, and urge the administration to change the name to one that all members of the University community can fully support and enthusiastically rally behind.

As University personnel, advocates for American Indian peoples and communities, and professionals committed to higher education - as well as a respectful and inclusive campus environment, we believe that the continued use of the nickname/logos will prove highly detrimental to the entire University community, as well as to the missions and goals of this institution.

We believe that UNDs use of the "Fighting Sioux" nickname and related "Indian Head" logo(s):

President Kupchella, we strongly and respectfully urge you to lead the way in progressive reform and change UND's athletic teams nickname and logo to one which truly honors and respects all peoples and cultures that make up this great University and state. North Dakota is widely known and promoted as the frontier state, inspired by the frontier spirit and bravery demonstrated by its early inhabitants, both Native and non-Native. The courage and leadership you have shown in the face of this controversy is deeply appreciated, as is the time you have taken to ensure that all voices are being heard.

UND Indian Related Programs, as listed below:

* Note: Other UND Indian Related Programs and associated faculty/staff members have indicated their support for this statement, however, because their respective program administrators and/or advisory boards could not be reached for approval, those programs are not included in the above listing.