Chief of Cherokee Nation desires Jeep to cease utilizing tribe’s identify on SUVs

2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk

Supply: Fiat Chrysler

The principal chief of the Cherokee Nation desires Jeep to cease utilizing the tribe’s identify on its SUVs, saying it “doesn’t honor us by having our identify plastered on the aspect of a automotive.”

Jeep began utilizing the Cherokee identify greater than 45 years in the past, together with on the model’s top-selling Grand Cherokee SUV. It additionally gives a smaller SUV referred to as the Cherokee, which was its third best-selling automobile final yr within the U.S.

“I feel we’re in a day and age on this nation the place it is time for each companies and group sports activities to retire using Native American names, photos and mascots from their merchandise, group jerseys and sports activities generally,” Chuck Hoskin Jr., principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, stated in a press release. “I am positive this comes from a spot that’s well-intended, but it surely doesn’t honor us by having our identify plastered on the aspect of a automotive.”

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L

Fiat Chrysler

Hoskin’s assertion was initially despatched to Automobile and Driver in response to an inquiry about whether or not the tribe condoned Jeep utilizing the Cherokee identify on the automobiles. Julie Hubbard, a spokeswoman for the Cherokee Nation, stated Hoskin additionally informed Jeep, which is now part of Stellantis, that he doesn’t condone using the Cherokee identify throughout a telephone name final month with at the least one firm official.

“One of the best ways to honor us is to find out about our sovereign authorities, our position on this nation, our historical past, tradition and language and have significant dialogue with federally acknowledged tribes on cultural appropriateness,” Hoskin stated.

In an emailed assertion, Jeep stated its automobile names “have been rigorously chosen and nurtured over time to honor and have fun Native American individuals for his or her the Aristocracy, prowess, and delight. The corporate stated it’s greater than ever “dedicated to a respectful and open dialogue with Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr.”

Hoskin’s criticism follows a number of corporations and sports activities groups stopping using model names and logos that used ethnic stereotypes and caricatures. They’ve included meals manufacturers akin to Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben’s altering names or packaging in addition to Land O’ Lakes eradicating the picture of a Native American lady from its packaging. Sports activities groups, together with Main League Baseball’s Cleveland Indians and the Nationwide Soccer League’s Washington group, previously the Redskins, are additionally dropping Native American imagery and names from their franchises.

Jeep has bought the Grand Cherokee since 1992. A brand new era of the automobile, together with a three-row variant, is anticipated later this yr. The corporate first began utilizing the identify Cherokee on automobiles in 1974, in response to Automobile and Driver. After discontinuing the Cherokee identify in 2002, it reintroduced a automobile with that identify in 2013.

At the moment, a spokeswoman for Cherokee Nation informed The New York Instances that the tribe had “inspired and applauded colleges and universities for dropping offensive mascots,” however “institutionally, the tribe doesn’t have a stance on” the Jeep Cherokee. She stated Jeep didn’t seek the advice of the Cherokee Nation earlier than asserting the automobile.

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