Cherokee Chief Asks Jeep to Stop Using Tribe’s Name
The Chief of the Cherokee Tribe, Chuck Hoskin Jr., has stated it’s time for Jeep to stop using the Cherokee name on its SUV.
The automaker has used the Cherokee name for over 45 years on both the Cherokee and the Grand Cherokee models. Since the Cherokee was reintroduced to the US market in 2013 after briefly being called the Liberty, Cherokee Nation has made several public comments on the name use but never specifically requested a change. While Hoskin says he doesn’t expect Jeep to make changes immediately, the tribe does not condone the use of the name.
Car and Driver spoke with Hoskin who stated, “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.”
Jeep responded to the 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.”
Being that the Grand Cherokee is Jeep’s best-selling vehicle and the Cherokee is the third-biggest-selling, we’re betting the vehicles themselves aren’t going anywhere. The vehicles together made up over 40% of Jeep’s total sales last year. However, with a new generation including a three-row model expected to debut later this year, could a name change be coming?
Jeep is not the first brand, sports team, or company to be requested to alter or change its name in the last few years. Organizations such as the Washington Football team and Cleveland MLB team have altered their names to remove Native American logos and references. Other brands such as Land ‘O Lakes butter have removed Native American images from the logo.