Chief of Cherokee Nation Calls on Jeep to Stop Using Tribe's Name: 'It Does Not Honor Us'
Jeep said it's vehicle names were "carefully chosen and nurtured over the years to honor and celebrate Native American people for their nobility, prowess and pride"
The principal chief of the Cherokee Nation is calling on Jeep to discontinue use of their name on some of its bestselling vehicle models.
In a recent statement to Car and Driver, Chuck Hoskin Jr. — principal chief of the Cherokee Nation — said it's time for the car company, which is owned by automotive manufacturer Stellantis, to stop marketing the name Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Cherokee. Jeep first introduced the Cherokee model in 1974.
"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," said Hoskin Jr. "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."
"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," he added.
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In a statement, Jeep said it is, "more than ever, committed to a respectful and open dialogue with Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr," according to NBC News.
"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," Jeep added in its statement.
Hoskin Jr. told CNN Business he doesn't see a way for Jeep to respectfully continue to use their name.
He said, "It's one of the most valuable things. It's a part of our Identity. And if we wanted to match up who had the stronger claim and connection and affinity for the Cherokee name it would certainly be the Cherokee people."