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“I think the board is going to want to take some action,” board President Gene Shaft told the Grand Forks [N.D.] Herald. “We havent discussed it, but my sense is the board would like to see some definitive statement as to who has the constitutional authority for the nickname and logo.”

The university has received the permission of one namesake tribe, the Spirit Lake Sioux, after members voted overwhelmingly in favor of the Fighting Sioux nickname. The tribal council of the other tribe, the Standing Rock Sioux, has opposed the nickname and refused to hold a vote.

Members of both the Spirit Lake and Standing Rock tribes are involved in the petition drive. The committee sponsoring the referendum is the Committee for Understanding and Respect, a panel of the Spirit Lake tribe that sued unsuccessfully to keep the Fighting Sioux.

“Members of our reservation, they’re going to have a chance to vote on this,” said Standing Rock Sioux member Archie Fool Bear as he turned in petitions Tuesday in video footage posted on the Herald’s webpage.

A Facebook page tracking the referendum effort, called “No More Fighting Sioux = No More Alumni Donations to UND,” announced that the petition drive had produced 17,213 signatures and urged supporters to participate in an online poll.

The June 12 ballot already contains Measure 2, a proposed constitutional amendment that would eliminate property taxes statewide.

“If I certify this [the Fighting Sioux referendum] on the ballot, we’re going to have two measures that will generate an intense amount of discussion,” said Mr. Jaeger.