Northeast Ohio Native American Leaders Discuss Cleveland Indians Name Change

The decision by Cleveland baseball ownership to change the team’s nickname was a long time coming for Native American activists.  [Jason Sponseller/Shutterstock]
The decision by Cleveland baseball ownership to change the team’s nickname was a long time coming for Native American activists. [Jason Sponseller/Shutterstock]
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The Cleveland Indians front office announced this week that it will drop the club's nickname and search for a new one.  That process is expected to take time and the new club name is not expected until 2022 at the earliest.  Until then, ownership says the team's current name will remain in place.

The move will end a more than 100-year association of the city and its baseball team with the Indians nickname.   .

The club announced this summer was considering a name change.  It then embarked on an effort to listen to Native American and indigenous groups as well as other community leaders about the impact of the team's current name.  In a released statement, the team said the listening  process proved enlightening and insightful. Quote: "When a sports team is aligned with its community, it unlocks the ability to unite people from different backgrounds and bring people together in support of their home team. While Indians will always be a part of our history, it is time to move forward and work to unify our stakeholders and fans through a new name."

In a separate letter to the fans, owner Paul Dolan pointed to the club's history of being forward thinking on issues around race: "We often celebrate being the first team in the American League to have an African American player in Larry Doby and the first African American manager in Frank Robinson. These forward-thinking acts by our predecessors have helped shaped our team and community, and today's decision helps us continue to live up to these high standards and expectations."

We are nine-months in, and the coronavirus pandemic has impacted not only our public health, but also our economy.

We watched as businesses shut down due to health orders, and as the number of unemployed workers in the state surged. 

Team NEO, Northeast Ohio's job growth and business development nonprofit,  has been tracking the impact of the pandemic on workers and employers. 

In a new report, "Navigating the New Normal" Team NEO looks at how the pandemic has shifted both consumer demands and the job market's response to it.

It is coming down to the wire for the 133rd General Assembly in Columbus. Sessions are scheduled in both chambers today as lawmakers face an end of term deadline to get legislation passed.

Guests: 
  • Chris Begay, Chair for the Committee of 500 Years of Dignity & Resistance  
  • Marlys Rambeau, Chairperson, Lake Erie Native American Council  
  • Jacob Duritsky, Vice President, Strategy & Research, Team NEO  
  • Karen Kasler, Statehouse News Bureau Chief, Ohio Public Radio/TV  
  • Jyoti Gupta, Ph.D., President, Volk Optical Inc.  

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