September 02, 2007

Spokane team respects Spokane Tribe

Baseball team does right by tribe

DETOURS | Spokane Tribe helps create Indians' new logo"For the last 20 years we haven't done anything with Native American imagery," said team president Andrew Billig in a conversation at the stadium along the Dishman Hills. "Our logo was just 'Spokane Indians.' No arrows, feathers or anything. When we decided on a new logo, we went to the tribe and said we were going to stay without imagery."

The tribe responded by thanking the team for the respect shown by not doing what other sports teams do with Native Americans caricatures and design. Then, the tribe added they would prefer to create a production hand in hand with the team.

"We hear so much about disrespectful display against Native Americans within the sporting world," said Jamie Sijohn, spokesperson for the Spokane Tribe in a phone interview from the reservation in Wellpinit, Wash. "The baseball team turned that around and made a promise they would not disrespect native culture. This was a great opportunity for the Spokane Tribe not only to help the team stay on the respectful path, but it also gave us an opportunity to educate the citizens of Spokane. Too many people think the Spokane Tribe took their name after the city, which is not true. The city took their name from the Spokane Tribe. We hope other Indian-named organizations across the country keep this ground-breaking concept in mind with their own neighboring Indian tribes."

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