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Chief of Cherokee Nation Chuck Hoskin Jr. asked Jeep to stop using their Native American tribal name on its' vehicles in a written statement earlier this month.
For more than 45 years, Jeep has branded the Cherokee name on the side of its' vehicles; including the Cherokee and the Grand Cherokee.
Chief Hoskin now believes it's time for Jeep to retire the name.
Although the Principal Chief of Cherokee Nation believes Jeep had well intentions for displaying the Cherokee name, Chief Hoskin says it does not honor the tribe.
“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," Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr. of the Cherokee Nation, told Car and Driver in a written statement.
"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,” said Chief Hoskin Jr.
Chief Hoskin’s statements come after the mainstreaming of racial justice concepts which were brought to the nations forefront during the historical Black Lives Matter protests last summer.
This is not the first time Native American names have been cancelled, both the Washington Red Skins (NFL) and Cleveland Indians (MLB) decided to change their team names after activists considered them to be racial slurs. The Native American woman used on Land O’Lakes dairy products was also removed last Spring after the company received pushback.
"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," Chief Hoskin said in his statement.
The Cherokee Tribal Government emphasized that Jeep never consulted with Cherokee Nation before utilizing their tribal name. From 2002 to 2013, Jeep dropped the Cherokee name in the North American market and called these vehicles Liberty.
Tribal leaders took issue with Jeep after they failed to consult the tribe in 2013 that they were back to using the nameplate Cherokee, but told The New York Times that the tribe did not have an official stance on the matter.
“We have encouraged and applauded schools and universities for dropping offensive mascots,” but that “institutionally, the tribe does not have a stance on this,” a Cherokee Nation representative told The New York Times.
However, the racial justice protests across the United States last June changed the tribes original stance.
"We hope the movement away from using tribes’ names and depictions or selling products without our consent, continues. We much prefer a cooperative effort than an adversarial one,” Chief Hoskin told the Wall Street Journal.
Jeep responded to Cherokee Nation’s calls for ceasing the use of their name in a statement, requesting an open dialogue.
"Our vehicle names have been carefully chosen and nurtured over the years to honor and celebrate Native American people for their nobility, prowess, and pride. We are, more than ever, committed to a respectful and open dialogue with Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr.,” said Jeep in a statement.
According to reports, representatives from Jeep reached out to Chief Hoskin of Cherokee Nation earlier this month and the tribes stance on Jeep removing their name has not changed.