The head of the Cherokee Nation wants Jeep to stop using the tribe’s name on its vehicles.
“I’m sure this is coming from a place that means well, but we are not honored by having our name plastered on the side of a car,” Chuck Hoskin Jr., Cherokee Nation chief executive officer, said in a statement. statement.
A Cherokee Nation spokesperson confirmed the statement, which was released to Car and Driver and released Monday. It was submitted to automotive magazine after an investigation in January.
“Our vehicle names have been carefully selected and nurtured over the years to honor and celebrate Native Americans for their nobility, craftsmanship and pride,” Stellantis, the company that owns Jeep, said in a statement.
Two Jeep vehicles use the name, Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, both of which are sport utility vehicles. The original Cherokee was launched in 1974.
The Jeep Cherokee remained in production until 2001 and was replaced by the Liberty. In 2013, Jeep announced a return to the Liberty replacement name. The Grand Cherokee was introduced with the 1993 model year.
“We are, more than ever, committed to an open and respectful dialogue with Cherokee Nation Chief Executive Officer Chuck Hoskin, Jr.,” the company said.
Stellantis and Hoskin had a call from Zoom late last month after the company reached out, the Cherokee Nation spokesperson said.
Hoskin told Stellantis that he does not approve of the company’s use of the word “Cherokee”, the spokesperson said.
Hoskin told CNBC that the discussions were “good” and “genuine,” but he did not change his position.
“I think we are in a time in this country where it is time for both corporations and team sports to remove the use of Native American names, images and mascots from their products, team jerseys and sports in general,” he said Hoskin in his statement.
Some have recently: The Washington, DC NFL team announced in July that it was removing its name and logo, which had long been considered insults. It’s now called Washington Football Team until you decide on a new name.
And in December, Cleveland’s major league team announced that it would change its name after the 2021 season. The team has not said what the new name will be, other than that it will be a “new non-Native American name.”
Cleveland announced in 2018 that it was removing its Chief Wahoo logo, a racist cartoon, from its hats and t-shirts.
More than 141,000 citizens of the Cherokee Nation live within the confines of the tribe’s reservation in northeastern Oklahoma.