TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) — The chief of the Cherokee Nation says it’s time for auto maker Jeep to stop using the tribe’s name on its Cherokee and Grand Cherokee models.
Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said in a statement he believes corporations and team sports should stop using Native American names, images and mascots on their teams and products.
“I think we’re in a day and age in this country where it’s time for both corporations and team sports to retire the use of Native American names, images and mascots from their products, team jerseys and sports in general. 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,” Hoskin said in a written statement obtained first by Car & Driver magazine.
A spokeswoman for Jeep’s parent company, Stellantis, says the vehicle name was carefully selected to honor Native American people. She didn’t say whether the company was considering renaming the vehicles.
Hoskin says the best way to honor the Tahlequah, Oklahoma-based tribe is to learn more about their sovereign government and its history.
“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,” Hoskin said.