The University of North Dakota went to a lot of time, trouble, and expense to get rid of the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo, which some considered offensive to Native Americans. But it’s not really getting rid of it completely.
The Fargo Forum reports that UND is retaining the exclusive license to the nickname and logo by authorizing a new round of merchandise featuring it.
The so-called Dakotah Legacy Collection is on sale now at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Apparently, it’s a use-it-or-lose it situation and UND doesn’t really want to “lose it.” Not yet, anyway.
“You have to make commercial use of the mark, so we had to do something,” UND spokesman Peter Johnson told the paper.
UND must use the Fighting Sioux marks to keep its trademarks, but Schafer said “usage” isn’t defined by the law, and so his office is now working on a definition UND can stand by.
With the assistance of legal council, Schafer’s office will create a definition that stipulates how much, how often and where the university will use the marks.
“I don’t see it as some kind of long process because usage isn’t defined,” [Interim President Ed] Schafer said. “We can define it any way we want, we just have to make sure we have a reasonable chance at legal defense.”
Some have been been vocal on social media about wanting the controversial Fighting Sioux logo trademark handed over to the state’s Sioux tribes, but Schafer said retaining the trademark and controlling which logos are in circulation is an important part of the transition away from the Fighting Sioux name.
“This is so sad that it’s such an offensive name, but yet they want to make money and keep the logo so they call them legendary,” a commenter on the shop’s Facebook page pointed out. “They want it both ways.”