April 14, 2010
Dear Governor Hoeven,
We are respectfully asking you to use the influence of your office to correct an unfortunate disregard for the wishes of the majority of the members of Spirit Lake and Standing Rock who are North Dakota citizens.
We did not ask to be included in the court settlement agreement between the NCAA and the North Dakota Board of Higher Education and the University of North Dakota. This agreement allows for both reservations to give approval for the continuing use of the name and logo by November 10, 2010.
The members of Spirit Lake voted by over 67% favoring UND Athletics teams being identified as the Sioux or Fighting Sioux.
A petition drive at Standing Rock calling for an election on the issue garnered over 1,000 signatures which amount to over 50% of the number who voted in their last tribal election.
The Board of Higher Education unilaterally changed the agreement and ignored the action at Spirit Lake and the petitions submitted at Standing Rock.
We want to believe the sad history of broken promises to the American Indians had ended but obviously the calloused and disrespectful actions by the Board of Higher Education prove otherwise.
The large majority at Spirit Lake spoke out loudly by our vote. They believe this identification with the University of North Dakota is very important. To lose this will only mean further isolation which will be harmful to the Sioux citizens.
We are respectfully asking you to use your leadership so we can fulfill the role given to us in the court approved agreement.
With kind regards and with our sincere hope you will assist in righting a wrong.
Frank Black Cloud