The Cherokee, a legendary Jeep 4×4 almost in its 50s, may have to change its name. The chief of the eponymous Native American tribe believes that the time had come for companies and sports teams in the United States to stop using their name.
He “told the group that he did not tolerate the use of ‘Cherokee’ by their business,” a spokeswoman for the tribe confirmed to AFP on Monday. He made this known to Jeep’s parent company, the Stellantis group, resulting from the merger between the French groups PSA and the Italian-American Fiat Chrysler, by videoconference on January 29.
“I think the time has come, in this country, for companies and sports teams to remove Amerindian names, images and mascots from their products, jerseys and teams,” the Cherokee chief had justified in a statement sent on 14 January to the American magazine Car and Driver, which had requested it.
4×4 launched in 1974
“I’m sure it was well intentioned, but it does not honor us to have our name written on the side of a car,” he lamented.
Jeep launched this 4×4 in 1974. Several models have followed one another since then. “The best way to honor ourselves is to learn more about our government, our role in this country, our history, our culture and our language and to have a constructive dialogue with the tribes recognized by the federal government on the appropriation cultural “, the Amerindian chief had further underlined.
Under pressure, the Washington football team and the Cleveland baseball team have also recently dropped their names borrowed from Native American tribes, the Redskins and the Indians respectively.
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