Cherokee Chief: Time for Jeep to end use of tribe’s name

TAHLEQUAH, OKLAHOMA (AP) — It is time for Jeep to stop using the Cherokee Nation’s name on its Cherokee and Grand Cherokee SUVs, the Chief of the Oklahoma-based tribe said.

Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr said in a statement first reported by Car and Driver magazine that he believes corporations and sports teams should stop using Native American names, images and mascots as nicknames or on their products.

“I’m sure this comes from a place that is well-intended, but it does not honour us by having our name plastered on the side of a car,” Hoskin said.

Spokeswoman for Jeep’s parent company, Amsterdam-based Stellantis, Kristin Starnes said in a statement that the vehicle name was carefully selected “and nurtured over the years to honour and celebrate Native American people for their nobility, prowess and pride”. She didn’t say whether the company was considering renaming the vehicles and didn’t immediately reply to an email requesting that information.

Hoskin said the best way to honour the Tahlequah, Oklahoma-based tribe is to learn more about its history.

“The best way to honour us is to learn about our sovereign government, our role in this country, our history, culture and language and have meaningful dialogue with federally-recognised tribes on cultural appropriateness,” Hoskin said.