N.D. Human Rights Coalition position on Native nicknames and logos


Use of School Nicknames, Mascots and Logos at Educational Institutions in
North Dakota

The North Dakota Human Rights Coalition opposes the use of nicknames,
mascots and logos which refer to Native American tribes at educational
institutions in North Dakota. The NDHRC is committed to working to effect
change so that all people in North Dakota enjoy full human rights, those
basic standards without which people cannot live in dignity. The human
rights of Native Americans who are students at and work at such schools are
being violated by the continued use of these nicknames, mascots and logos
by being subject to derogatory T-shirts and chants while attending sporting
events, and otherwise on and off campus. This also includes those who are
not Native American and who deserve to not be subjected to the T-shirts and

The Preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights begins by
recognizing the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of
all members of the human family as the foundation of freedom, justice and
peace in the world. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights' Article 26
states that "[e]ducation shall be directed to the full development of the
human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and
fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and
friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups". The use of
Native American nicknames, mascots and logos interferes with the
educational institution's ability to fulfill this mandate.

More information on the human rights concerns of the use of the Sioux
nickname and logo at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks is
available at the website of "Building Road Into Diverse Groups Empowering
Students," a University of North Dakota student organization dedicated to
the progressive change of the nickname, at



January, 2003


Cheryl Bergian

North Dakota Human Rights Coalition
P.O. Box 1961
Fargo, ND 58107-1961
(701) 239-9323
(701) 478-4452 (fax)

The North Dakota Human Rights Coalition works to affect change so that all
people in North Dakota enjoy full human rights.