Voters have had their say in the long fight over the University of North Dakota's Fighting Sioux nickname, and 60% of them voted in favor of allowing the university to drop the name. The state's Board of Higher Education is now expected to retire the controversial name and American Indian head logo, which brought sanctions from the NCAA—and led to a state law requiring the university to keep the nickname.
The battle began in 2005 when the NCAA ordered 18 universities to drop Native American logos and nicknames. Some, including Florida State's Seminoles, were allowed to keep the names with permission from local tribes, but North Dakota's Spirit Lake tribe, which supports the Fighting Sioux, couldn't persuade the Standing Rock tribe to agree. The nickname's supporters are already gathering signatures for another vote this fall. "I have a true Fighting Sioux spirit,” a Spirit Lake member tells the Globe and Mail. “Just like my ancestors."