TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (ABC4) – The Cherokee Nation is calling on Jeep to stop using its name for its Cherokee and Grand Cherokee vehicles.
In an interview with Car and Driver, Chuck Hoskin, Jr., principal chief of the Cherokee Nation shared a statement, saying:
“I’m sure this comes from a place that is well-intended, but it does not honor us by having our name plastered on the side of a car. The best way to honor us is to learn about our sovereign government, our role in this country, our history, culture, and language and have meaningful dialogue with federally recognized tribes on cultural appropriateness.”
According to Car and Driver, Jeep has been building vehicles with the Cherokee Nation’s name for over 45 years and defended its decision to use the name several times. Since 2013, the Cherokee Nation has also gone on record, but never explicitly said Jeep should change the cars’ names.
Chief Hoskin’s statement comes as moves for racial social justice have pushed sports teams and brands to change names.
Recently, Quaker Oats announced the Aunt Jemima brand will soon be no more. Instead, the brand of the pancake mix and syrup varieties will be known as the Pearl Milling Company.
Last year, after the change to the Aunt Jemima brand was announced, the owner of Uncle Ben’s brand of rice announced the brand would “evolve” in response to concerns about racial stereotyping. Days later, the owner of Eskimo Pie announced the brand would change its name and marketing of the nearly century-old chocolate-covered ice cream bar.
In December, reports surfaced that the Cleveland Indians will change their name after 105 years. A new name has yet to be announced for the Cleveland MLB team. In July, Washington announced its temporary team name – Washington Football Team. That name carried through the NFL season.