2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk
Source: Fiat Chrysler
The Chief Cherokee Nation wants Jeep to stop using the tribe’s name on its SUVs, saying it “doesn’t honor us by putting our name on the side of a car.”
Jeep began using the Cherokee name over 45 years ago, including on the brand’s best-selling Grand Cherokee SUV. It also offers a smaller SUV called the Cherokee, which was its third best-selling vehicle last year in the United States.
“I think we are in a day and age in this country when it is time for business and team sports to remove the use of Native American names, images and mascots from their products, team jerseys and sports in general, “Chuck Hoskin Jr., senior chief of the Cherokee Nation, said in a statement. “I’m sure it comes from a place that is well-meaning, but it doesn’t honor us to have our name written on the side of a car.”
Jeep Grand Cherokee L 2021
Hoskin’s statement was originally sent to Car and Driver in response to an investigation into whether the tribe tolerated Jeep using the Cherokee name on vehicles. Julie Hubbard, spokesperson for the Cherokee Nation, said Hoskin also told Jeep, which is now part of Stellantis, that he does not tolerate the use of the name Cherokee during a phone call last month with at least one person in charge of the company.
“The best way to honor ourselves is to learn more about our sovereign government, our role in this country, our history, our culture and our language and to have a meaningful dialogue with the federally recognized tribes on the relevance cultural, ”Hoskin said.
In an emailed statement, Jeep said the names of its vehicles “have been carefully chosen and nurtured over the years to honor and celebrate Native Americans for their nobility, prowess and pride. Open dialogue with the Chief Principal of the Cherokee Nation, Chuck Hoskin, Jr. “
Hoskin’s criticism follows several companies and sports teams stopping the use of brand names and logos that use ethnic stereotypes and caricatures. They have included food brands such as Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben’s changing their name or packaging, as well as Land O ‘Lakes removing the image of a Native American woman from its packaging. Sports teams, including the Cleveland Indians of Major League Baseball and the Washington National Football League team, formerly the Redskins, are also dropping Native American images and names from their franchises.
Jeep has been selling the Grand Cherokee since 1992. A new generation of the vehicle, including a three-row variant, is expected later this year. The company began using the Cherokee name on vehicles in 1974, according to Car and Driver. After dropping the Cherokee name in 2002, it reintroduced a vehicle with that name in 2013.
At that time, a spokesperson for Cherokee Nation told the New York Times that the tribe had “encouraged and applauded schools and universities for abandoning offensive mascots,” but “institutionally the tribe has no position. on “the Jeep Cherokee”. She said Jeep did not consult with the Cherokee Nation before announcing the vehicle.
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