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Forum News Service, Published January 21 2013

Hearing set on appeal by Fighting Sioux advocates

GRAND FORKS – A hearing has been set for Feb. 14 in St. Paul on University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux nickname supporters’ appeal of a judge’s dismissal of their lawsuit against the NCAA.

Pro-nickname members of the Spirit Lake and Standing Rock Sioux nations last year appealed U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson’s dismissal of their lawsuit to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Attorneys for the NCAA and for Spirit Lake’s pro-nickname Committee for Understanding and Respect have filed to appear before a three-judge panel assigned by the appeals court to hear the case.

The committee, joined by Standing Rock Sioux member Archie Fool Bear, had filed its lawsuit in U.S. District Court on Nov. 1, 2011, alleging violations of contract law and federal civil rights laws and demanding reversal of the NCAA policy against use of American Indian names and imagery by member schools.

Committee and NCAA lawyers argued the issue in Fargo before Judge Erickson, who dismissed the suit in early May 2012. The Spirit Lake committee and Fool Bear filed notice of appeal at the end of May.