Spirit Lake Tribal Hearing Moved From North Dakota To South Dakota Because UND Won’t Waive Parking Fees

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According to the Grand Forks Herald, “The appeals court set to hear arguments over the disputed Spirit Lake tribal chairman’s seat says the UND School of Law has pulled out of hosting the hearing.” Apparently the hearing will now be held in Aberdeen, South Dakota.

The report blames “logistical problems” for the move, but that’s a little vague. According to a source on the UND campus, the problem was the universities refusal to provide free parking:

Heard [...] that the hearing was moved because they could not figure out how to accommodate free parking for tribal members during the hearing – that is the logistical problem referenced. Peggy Lucke at UND insisted that the tribal members must pay for parking as there is no free guest parking at UND.  But of course the alumni office gets lots of free parking for recruitment of students, and other “special” guests do not pay.

So Tribal members need to go travel 3.5 to 4 hours to Aberdeen rather 1.5 hours to  Grand Forks because of Twamley [Hall] bureaucrats.  Embarrassing.

Twamley Hall is the main administrative building at UND.

If a refusal to waive parking fees for the event is the reason why the Spirit Lake folks have to travel more than twice as far for the hearing, it is indeed embarrassing and petty. Of course, UND and Spirit Lake haven’t been on the best of terms since the university basically threw the tribe under the bus on the Fighting Sioux nickname issue.  The Sioux tribe argued that the nickname wasn’t offensive to them. The campus elite, thinking they knew better, was dismissive of the tribe.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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