Students sue to end Fighting Sioux nickname

FIghting Sioux
The Ralph Engelstad Arena, a sports arena on the University of North Dakota campus in Grand Forks, N.D., features thousands of American Indian head logos. The school is under pressure from the NCAA to get rid of the nickname and logo.
Associated Press/Dale Wetzel

Eight American Indian students have filed suit in federal court, seeking to force the University of North Dakota to stop using the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo.

The lawsuit contends a state law requiring UND to use the Fighting Sioux nickname is unconstitutional because it supercedes a previous court settlement that called for the school to end use of the nickname by August 15.

The suit alleges the new law violates the student's rights because the name and logo are disparaging and harmful. Attorney Carla Fredericks says the name results in discrimination on the UND campus.

"The objective of the plaintiffs in this case is to enjoy an educational environment that is free from discrimination, and to once and for all be able to know this Fighting Sioux nickname and logo will no longer be used," she said.

North Dakota officials plan to meet with the NCAA Friday to discuss the option of keeping the nickname.

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