(WTVO) — The chief of the Cherokee Nation has asked Jeep to stop using its name on the company’s SUVs.
Car and Driver reports that Chuck Hoskin, Jr., principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, said, “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. 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.”
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is Jeep’s best selling model. The Jeep Cherokee is the company’s third best selling vehicle. It has sold SUVs under the Cherokee brand since 1974.
Jeep responded in a statement, 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.”
In December, the Cleveland Indians baseball team decided to drop the nickname and mascot, becoming Cleveland’s Major League Baseball Team. The Washington Redskins NFL team also decided to drop the nickname, and is currently known as the Washington Football Team. The dairy company Land O’Lakes also stopped using the image of a Native American woman on its packaging.