TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (WLNS) – The leader of the Cherokee Nation is asking Jeep to stop putting its name on vehicles.
Jeep has been making the Cherokee SUV since 1974, and the Grand Cherokee since 1993.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Jeep’s parent company, Stellantis, says the name was carefully selected and nurtured to honor and celebrate Native American people. The statement does not indicate whether the company was considering the name change request.
“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,” says Principal Chief Chuck Hoskins, Jr., who was elected to lead the Cherokee Nation in 2019.
“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,” he adds.
This comes as other companies, especially sports teams, are transitioning away from Native American names, images, and mascots. The NFL franchise in Washington, D.C. and the MLB team in Cleveland both announced last year that they would change their Native American-inspired names.