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Members of the UND nickname committee

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News Bemidji,Minnesota 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
Members of the UND nickname committee
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

A UND nickname and logo committee is working at the direction of the state Board of Higher Education to study the issue and bring recommendations back to the board.


Grant Shaft is a Grand Forks member of the state Board of Higher Education and chairman of the committee.

Shaft, an attorney, has publicly supported retaining the Sioux logo and nickname.

Ryan Bernstein is legal counsel for Gov. John Hoeven. Hoeven supports use of the Fighting Sioux nickname.

Bob Boyd is UND vice president of student and outreach services, who said he best serves the committee by not publicly taking a position.

Steve Burian is a UND alumnus who was captain of the track and field team. He is CEO of Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services Inc. who says he aims to bring objectivity to the committee.

John Chaske is a member of the Spirit Lake tribe and is leading an effort to bring a referendum about the nickname to the tribe. Chaske participated in a flag ceremony at the Ralph Engelstad Arena last fall.

Pam Gulleson is state director for U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan. A spokesman says Gulleson is serving as an observer.

Jody Hodgson represents the Engelstad Family Foundation. He is general manager of the Ralph Engelstad Arena, which is on the UND campus but independently managed.

The arena has been holding meetings with tribal members separate from this committee to try to resolve the issue.

Tom Iron is a former vice chairman of the Standing Rock tribe. Hodgson has asked Iron to facilitate meetings with tribes and arena and UND representatives. Hodgson says Iron is not paid.

Iron says he views the Sioux logo as a symbol of honor. In a 1997 Associated Press story, Iron supported retiring the nickname.

Erich Longie is a member of the Spirit Lake tribe and UND alumnus. He is an outspoken opponent of the nickname and is working on a petition to ask the Spirit Lake tribal council to rescind a 2000 resolution that gave conditional approval for the nickname.

He is a former president of Cankdeska Cikana Community College.

Jeremy Lunde is a third-year UND law student from Fargo and considers himself neutral on the nickname. He's a licensed mediator who wants to use that experience on the committee.

Celeste Melander is an enrolled member of the Standing Rock tribe. A pre-criminal justice major, she attended UND from 2001 to 2005 and returned in 2008. She supports the logo.

Amy Dalrymple is a staff writer for the Forum of Fargo/Moorhead, a Forum Communications newspaper, which also owns the Bemidji Pioneer.

Pioneer staff reports