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Tribal vote will determine fate of Fighting Sioux logo

The Engelstad Foundation says it will abide by a vote among members of a local tribe to determine the fate of the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo.

The Engelstad Foundation, which runs and funds the Engelstad Arena at the University of North Dakota, says it will abide by a schedule tribal vote Tuesday that will determine the future of the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo at the University of North Dakota.

The foundation has been a vociferous defender of the logo, which has been under attack for years by Native American activists, who call it demeaning. Ralph Engelstad, the former UND goalie who made his money in Las Vegas casinos, made sure it would be difficult to move away from the logo by embedding a slew of them in the arena. However, UND has been ordered to dump the logo by the NCAA unless it can demonstrate support from local tribes — something Florida State successfully did in keeping the Seminoles name and logo.

Hence the vote Tuesday among the members of the Spirit Lake reservation.

"If the Sioux people of North Dakota don’t want the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo to be used by UND’s athletic programs, we are willing to live with their decision," said the Engelstad Family Foundation in a statement.

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