The Chief of the Cherokee Nation wants Jeep to stop using the tribe’s name on his vehicles.
“I’m sure this comes from a place that is well-meaning, but it does us no honor to have our name inscribed on the side of a car,” said Chuck Hoskin, Jr., senior chief of the Cherokee Nation. A declaration.
A spokesperson for the Cherokee Nation confirmed the statement, which was provided to Car and Driver and released on Monday. It was sent to the automotive magazine after an investigation in January.
“The names of our vehicles have been carefully chosen and nurtured over the years to honor and celebrate Native Americans for their nobility, prowess and pride,” said Stellantis, the company that owns Jeep, in a statement.
Jeep has two vehicles that use the name, the Cherokee and the Grand Cherokee, both of which are sport utility vehicles. The original Cherokee was launched in 1974.
The Jeep Cherokee remained in production until 2001, but was replaced by the Liberty. In 2013, Jeep announced a comeback in the name of the replacement for the Liberty. The Grand Cherokee was introduced with the 1993 model year.
“We are more than ever engaged in a respectful and open dialogue with the Chief Chief of the Cherokee Nation, Chuck Hoskin, Jr,” the company said.
Stellantis and Hoskin had a Zoom call late last month after the company contacted the company, the Cherokee Nation spokesperson said.
He told the group he does not tolerate the use of the word “Cherokee” by their company, according to the spokesperson.
Hoskin told CNBC the talks were “good” and “genuine” but did not change his position.
“I think we are in a day and age in this country when it is time for business and team sports to remove the use of Native American names, images and mascots from their products, jerseys. team and sports in general, ”Hoskin said in his statement.
Some have done so recently – the National Football League team in Washington, DC, announced in July that they would be removing their name and logo, which had long been viewed as an insult. She is now called Washington Football Team until she chooses a new name.
And in December, the Cleveland Major League Baseball team announced they would change their name after the 2021 season. The team did not say what the new name will be, but did say it would be a “new name based on non-Native Americans”.
Cleveland announced in 2018 that it would drop its Chief Wahoo logo, a racist caricature, from its caps and jerseys.
More than 141,000 citizens of the Cherokee Nation reside within the tribal reserve boundaries in northeastern Oklahoma.