It’s time for Jeep to cease utilizing the Cherokee Nation’s identify on its Cherokee and Grand Cherokee SUVs, the chief of the Oklahoma-based tribe has mentioned.
Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr mentioned in a press release, which was first reported by Automobile & Driver journal, that he believes companies and sports activities groups ought to cease utilizing Native American names, pictures and mascots as nicknames or on their merchandise.
“I’m positive this comes from a spot that’s well-intended, nevertheless it doesn’t honor us by having our identify plastered on the facet of a automobile,” Hoskin mentioned.
The assertion marked the primary time that the Cherokee Nation had referred to as for the change since Jeep first started utilizing “Cherokee” on its autos within the 1970s, in line with Automobile & Driver.
Kristin Starnes, a spokesperson for Jeep’s father or mother firm, the Amsterdam-based Stellantis, mentioned in a press release that the car identify was rigorously chosen “and nurtured through the years to honor and rejoice Native American individuals for his or her the Aristocracy, prowess and satisfaction”.
She didn’t say whether or not the corporate was contemplating renaming the autos and didn’t instantly reply to an electronic mail requesting that info.
Hoskin says one of the best ways to honor the Tahlequah, Oklahoma-based tribe is to study extra about its historical past.
“The easiest way to honor us is to find out about our sovereign authorities, our position on this nation, our historical past, tradition and language and have significant dialogue with federally acknowledged tribes on cultural appropriateness,” Hoskin mentioned.
The controversy comes amid a nationwide reckoning over using Native American names and pictures, significantly in sports activities.
After years of resistance and beneath stress from company sponsors, the NFL’s Washington DC franchise introduced final 12 months that it was dropping its “Redskins” nickname and Indian head brand and would go by the identify Washington Soccer Group till a everlasting substitute was chosen. Main League Baseball’s Cleveland Indians additionally introduced final 12 months that it could change its identify.
Hoskin made reference to such adjustments in his assertion to Automobile & Driver.
“I believe we’re in a day and age on this nation the place it’s time for each companies and staff sports activities to retire using Native American names, pictures and mascots from their merchandise, staff jerseys and sports activities normally,” he mentioned.
The Related Press contributed reporting