NCAI Commends MLB Announcement of Cleveland “Indians” Name Change to “Guardians”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) has commended the recent announcement by the Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise in Cleveland of its new team name and mascot, the “Guardians.” The announcement by the Cleveland Guardians comes seven months after its decision to retire its long-used “Indians” name and mascot, a decision it reached following an extensive process to engage with and learn from tribal leaders, leading scholars, local and national Native organizations, and community stakeholders.

“With this announcement, the Cleveland baseball team has taken another important step forward in healing the harms its former mascot long caused Native people, in particular Native youth,” said NCAI President Fawn Sharp. “We call on the other professional sports teams and thousands of schools across the country that still cling to their antiquated Native ‘themed’ mascots to immediately follow suit. NCAI also looks forward to continuing its work with the Cleveland Guardians to help grow the national movement of respect for Tribal Nations, cultures, and communities, a movement that values, teaches, and validates who Native people are today, what makes us unique, the many important contributions we make to this country, and our rightful place in the diverse mosaic that is America.”