Northeastern Ohio Native American Groups Respond to Cleveland Indian Name Change Update

Team leaders say they have already conducted more than 140 hours of interviews and interviewed more than 40,000 fans.

CLEVELAND – The process of selecting a new name for the Cleveland Indians is well advanced, so much so that the team has narrowed its roster to 1,198 possibilities.

The club gave the latest update to their high-profile name research on Thursday by unveiling a new website that outlines the steps they will take to make a final decision. The team leaders say they have already conducted over 140 hours of interviews and interviewed more than 40,000 fans, processes that will only continue as the search for the No.1 selection progresses.

After years of protests from fans and Native American groups against the current name of the Cleveland Indians, Native American groups believe change is really on the horizon, including Jess Vallejo of the Cleveland Indigenous Coalition.

RELATED: Cleveland Indians Say They Have List of Almost 1,200 Possible Options for New Name

“The coalition is really encouraged that we finally have in public view what our communications have always been and that they are ready to change the name,” said Vallejo. “Our comments were intended to change some of the fan behaviors and some of the offensive racist traditions that have been allowed to continue inside the baseball stadium by first recognizing the sanctity of such objects like feathers, like the drum. “

And what about a schedule?

So far, a Cleveland Indians spokesperson has said the change could come in 2023 or earlier.

“It’s not a short turnaround and so for them to come out and say it was 2022 in the first place, and now to be realistic and push it back to 2023, it’s not that disappointing – I think we know it’s always going to happen, ”said Vallejo.

RELATED: Cleveland Indians and Cuyahoga County Rulers ‘Make Good Progress’ in Negotiations to Extend Lease at Progressive Field

Cynthia Connolly of the Lake Erie Native American Council sent a statement to 3News:

“Since last summer, the Cleveland Indigenous Coalition has worked and continues to work closely with the Cleveland MLB team during this time of transition. We are delighted that the team has taken such a comprehensive approach to really listening and learning; and we are encouraged by their cooperation in listening to specific recommendations and comments from our community. Our coalition remains dedicated to this important work as we move forward in this process. “


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