Cherokee Chief Says It’s Time for Jeep to Stop Using Their Name
When you hear the name “Cherokee,” what do you think of? Do you see an old-fashioned picture of Native Americans? Do you see a modern-day image of the Cherokee Nation? Or, do you think of a car sold by Jeep?
Many people probably think of the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Jeep has been using the Cherokee people’s name on their vehicles since 1974. Chuck Hoskin, Jr. is the principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, and he thinks that it is time for Jeep to stop using the Cherokee name.
In a statement to Car and Driver he explained, “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.” He added, “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.”
Several sports teams have decided to change their names within the last year because they used to use Native American references as their names and mascots. Washington D.C.’s NFL team is now simply the Washington Football Team. Cleveland’s Major League Baseball team also plans to choose a new name.
In a statement, Jeep responded to Hoskin’s concerns saying, “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.”
Watch the video below to hear Chief Hoskin explain why he wants Jeep to stop using the Cherokee name.
Do you think Jeep should change the name of their Grand Cherokee vehicle? Do you think using the Cherokee name honors the Cherokee Nation?