Cherokee Nation Chief Asks Jeep To Stop Using Tribe's Name

Jeep is under pressure to change the names of its Cherokee and Grand Cherokee models
Cherokee Nation Chief Asks Jeep To Stop Using Tribe's Name

Jeep may soon need to find new names for its Cherokee and Grand Cherokee SUVs. Largely driven by a shift in attitudes following 2020’s Black Lives Matter protests, the sporting world has changed various Native American-themed names and images, and now Stellantis is facing a reckoning of its own.

Chuck Hoskin Jr., Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, would rather Jeeps SUVs go under a different name. “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 said.

Cherokee Nation Chief Asks Jeep To Stop Using Tribe's Name

“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,” he said in a statement given to Car and Driver, adding, “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.”
In a responding statement, Jeep said:

“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.”

Cherokee Nation Chief Asks Jeep To Stop Using Tribe's Name

Jeep, which has used the tribe’s name for over 40 years, is in a relatively good position to re-title the Grand Cherokee. The latest ‘WL’-generation version has only just been revealed in three-row form, and it won’t be on sale until later in 2021. The ‘KL’ Cherokee meanwhile has been kicking around since 2013, so should Jeep be replacing it, a next-gen version will be on the horizon.

By picking a new name, Jeep would be following in the footsteps of the NFL’s Washington Football Team and Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Indians. The former has temporarily retitled itself while it mulls over a long-term replacement for its former ‘Redskins’ nickname, considered by the National Congress of American Indians to be a racial slur. The latter meanwhile ditched its controversial ‘Chief Wahoo’ logo in 2018 and will drop the ‘Indians’ part of its name after the 2021 season concludes.


Ian MacDonald

I honestly see this as a net win. Jeep, after going through a major management shakeup, is in a perfect spot to rebrand (as mentioned in the article). It doesn’t need to make a completely new car, just brand it as one. Should they comply with the tribe’s wishes, they will also come off all the better morally for not passing them off. Not to mention the original cause after all, which involves a tribe that hasn’t exactly sat at the top of the socio-political Totem Pole if you will.

I’m interested to see what kind of line up Jeep will be offering in this new Stellantis era, I think a compassionate rebrand is a pretty good way to start it.

02/23/2021 - 21:47 |
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02/24/2021 - 08:47 |
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Ben Anderson 1

In reply to by Glitchy

Don’t cut yourself on that edge.

02/24/2021 - 10:45 |
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Markus Walker

Jeep Grand Cherokee strarted production in 1993 and Cherokee in 1974 and only now they have problem with the name. At this point this suing over name, color of skin or beacause it doesn’t say don’t use it in hair is just plain stupid

02/24/2021 - 16:33 |
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I don’t see Cheyenne people suing Chevy or half an Europe suing american car makers for the names of the cities parts of the country used as car names

02/24/2021 - 16:59 |
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Sorry to be a dissenter but this is total eyewash to me
Jeep have used the name in only a good way, and as such I wonder how many of today’s under25’s (and potential owners) would know much about the Cherokee name, outside of America.
For me it’s keeping the tribes name current and in the public grey matter
I have great respect for indigenous peoples (especially being English and remembering how we helped invade America and Australia) but I think this is just ridiculous.

02/24/2021 - 16:54 |
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In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Shouldn’t the Cherokee nation be in the public’s grey matter without having to associate it with a mass market SUV?

02/25/2021 - 15:20 |
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