Spirit Lake Accuses Univ of North Dakota Of Failing To Respond To Open Records Request

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

On the eve of the North Dakota Legislature’s return to the Fighting Sioux nickname debate, the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe has accused UND of failing to respond to its requests for email records concerning the issue.

The pro-nickname Committee for Understanding and Respect, acting under authority granted by the Tribal Council, said Sunday that it has asked Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem to rule on whether UND officials violated state open records laws by failing to respond to the committee’s requests.

The requests for email communications regarding the nickname between UND, the State Board of Higher Education, the NCAA and the Big Sky Conference were made Oct. 10, according to Frank Black Cloud, spokesman for the committee.

The Legislature adopted a law in March requiring UND to keep using the Sioux name despite sanctions threatened by the NCAA. A bill to repeal that law is expected to be introduced today as lawmakers gather here for a weeklong special session, and a hearing is tentatively scheduled for this afternoon.

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