The Chicago Blackhawks may not be dumping their name, but to assuage activists, the team is set to read an “indigenous land statement” ahead of each home game to acknowledge that Native American lands were stolen from them.
The Blackhawks said they would read a “formal statement that recognizes the unique and enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories,” according to the Hill.
The team has released this statement which reads:
The Chicago Blackhawks acknowledge that the team, its foundation, and the spaces we maintain, work, and compete within, stand upon the traditional homelands of the Miami, Sauk, Fox, Ho-Chunk, Menominee, and the council of the Three Fires: the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi Nations. We understand that this land holds immense significance for its original stewards, the Native Nations, and the peoples of this region.
We would also like to recognize that our team’s namesake, Sauk War Leader Black Hawk, serves as a continuous reminder of our responsibility to the Native American communities we live amongst and draw inspiration from.
The NHL team’s statement is one effort to soothe critics who want the team to dump their American Indian-inspired name.
But the Blackhawks have rebuffed calls to dump their more than 60-year-old name, and said that the moniker is an honor to Native Americans that should serve as an inspiration for future generations.
The team also notes that the name was directly derived from the team founder’s World War One Army unit, the Blackhawk Division, named after the famed Chicago-area Sauk Nation Indian chief of the early 1800s.
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