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Cherokee Nation Says 'It's Time' for Jeep to Stop Using Name


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  • Jeep sells vehicles named Cherokee and Grand Cherokee. It also uses Mojave, the name of a Native American people and a desert in the American Southwest, as a trim designator on the Gladiator.
  • The Cherokee Nation has commented on the record several times since Jeep started using the name in North America in 2013 after a 12-year hiatus.
  • A representative of Cherokee Nation said that until recently it had been several years since it had any communication from Jeep regarding the name.


For the first time, the Cherokee Nation is asking Jeep to change the name of its Cherokee and Grand Cherokee vehicles.


“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," Chuck Hoskin, Jr., principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, told Car and Driver in a written statement responding to our request for comment on the issue. "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."


Jeep has been building cars that wear the Cherokee Nation's name for more than 45 years. In that time, the company has gone on the record several times defending its decision to use the name of a Native American nation on its cars. Over the past eight years, since the reintroduction of the Cherokee nameplate to the U.S. market in 2013, the Cherokee Nation has gone on the record, too, but it had never explicitly said that Jeep should change the cars' names.


Now, as Jeep prepares to launch the next generation of the Grand Cherokee against the backdrop of high-profile name changes in the world of sports, that has changed.



"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," Chief Hoskin said in his statement.



Jeep first used the Cherokee name in a 1974 two-door wagon (one available trim was called Cherokee Chief). It has since built cars called Cherokee continuously, but from 2002 through 2013 the cars were known as the Liberty in the North American market. When Jeep brought the Cherokee name back to its U.S. in 2013, a Cherokee Nation representative told the New York Times, “We have encouraged and applauded schools and universities for dropping offensive mascots,” but that “institutionally, the tribe does not have a stance on this.”


That same story noted that the Cherokee Nation had not been consulted before Jeep brought the nameplate back to the U.S. The Grand Cherokee is Jeep's best-selling vehicle, and the Cherokee is its third-biggest-selling model. Together the vehicles made up more than 40 percent of Jeep's total sales in 2020. Since that same year, Jeep has used Mojave for certain Gladiator trucks. The Fort Mojave Indian Tribe's reservation covers parts of Arizona, California, and Nevada near the Mojave Desert.



Told of Chief Hoskin's call to end the use of the Cherokee name on its cars, Jeep said in a statement, "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."


But Cobb-Greetham, who is a member of Chickasaw Nation and stresses the Cherokee Nation's sovereignty in choosing how to respond to the use of its own name, takes a different view: "If you're going to honor somebody, give them an award. If you're going to name a product after them, you're selling."


An official with Cherokee Nation says representatives from Jeep reached out to Chief Hoskin via phone earlier this month, but the nation's stance on Jeep's use of the name has not changed.


More here: https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a35568468/cherokee-nation-jeep-stop-using-name/

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spookie the aardvark

Seems no one can win in these politically correct times - ignor the, in this case, Native Americans and you are being racist. Use a name on a car and you are trying to exploit them 🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺

Begining to understand why all the Chinese car copies are just badged up as "BJ XXXX". It seems to work over there as I am sure in China your not allowed to be offended by anything 😇😇😇😇

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