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Spokane Indians Take Historic Step with Logo in Salish Language


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Native Americans have been struggling for a voice in the decision-making process since the United States government started making treaties with the tribes. Their voice has been falling on deaf ears for centuries.

Concerns over derogatory Native American imagery and athletic team logos and the defiant disregard of Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder to change his team name has been the norm for centuries.

But one American sports franchise has not only heard the voice of Native Americans in the Inland Empire, but welcomed their perspective.

The Spokane Indians baseball team, a Class A Northwest League team that’s affiliated with the Texas Rangers, collaborated with the Spokane Tribe of Indians in a partnership built on respect.

In 2006, the baseball team’s front office and the tribe collaborated to come up with a team logo not only saying Spokane Indians in English, but developed a team logo printed in the Salish language, which was depicted on the sleeve of its uniforms.

The Spokane Indians baseball team will take that collaboration one step further, making the logo in the Salish language the main logo on the front of its home uniforms for the 2014 season.

http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/12/27/spokane-indians-take-historic-step-logo-salish-language-152874

Team logo (in Salish language):

spokane_indians.jpg

Team logo (in English):

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So are they saying that roundel will be on the front of the home uni in 2014? If so, terrible choice. A roundel has no place on a uniform except on the sleeve.

Interesting move to bring the Salish language to the forefront like that though. I've been to a few Spokane Indians games, and all their imagery is pretty classy. They even have Otto the "Spokanosaurus" (at least last I checked) as their mascot rather than teetering on the brink of danger with a native-inspired mascot.

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THIS is what I like to see with NA imagery in sports... an opportunity to respectfully educate the public about indigenous peoples and their culture (instead of paying" tribute" with racial slurs and racist imagery).

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THIS is what I like to see with NA imagery in sports... an opportunity to respectfully educate the public about indigenous peoples and their culture (instead of paying" tribute" with racial slurs and racist imagery).

Indeed. Despite sharing a name this identity and the identity of the Cleveland Indians is like night and day.
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I thought I read that this identity was designed by either Dan Simon (Studio Simon) or Todd Radom, but I can't find interweb confirmation anywhere.

I had been wondering why a logo designed in 2006 was suddenly making news again.

From what I've seen, the current home uniforms have "Spokane" in a script across the chest. My understanding of this article means the team will now have "Spoaqin" across the chest instead, and the Salish roundel on the sleeve. I don't know that the full Salish name will translate well to a jersey, but keeping it as a sleeve patch should reinforce the idea while retaining its aesthetic appeal.

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THIS is what I like to see with NA imagery in sports... an opportunity to respectfully educate the public about indigenous peoples and their culture (instead of paying" tribute" with racial slurs and racist imagery).

I find it interesting that Native Americans don't find the Redskins offensive at all. For some reason the only people that do are white people who have no reason to care and people who would make money off of suing Dan Snyder. If you don't like the team don't buy stuff from them, but I have a feeling the people who wouldn't buy their stuff already don't. It seems like nobody cares about what other people do except a group of people that always like to start problems.

what? google "oneida indian tribe"

but we're not going to go down this road in this thread are we?

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Roundels look great on sleeves. Less great on chests.

THIS is what I like to see with NA imagery in sports... an opportunity to respectfully educate the public about indigenous peoples and their culture (instead of paying" tribute" with racial slurs and racist imagery).

I find it interesting that Native Americans don't find the Redskins offensive at all. For some reason the only people that do are white people who have no reason to care and people who would make money off of suing Dan Snyder. If you don't like the team don't buy stuff from them, but I have a feeling the people who wouldn't buy their stuff already don't. It seems like nobody cares about what other people do except a group of people that always like to start problems.

leaving-now-grandpa-simpsons_zps15f4a415

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THIS is what I like to see with NA imagery in sports... an opportunity to respectfully educate the public about indigenous peoples and their culture (instead of paying" tribute" with racial slurs and racist imagery).

Agreed. Nice tribute that is very respectful and has educational value too. I have to admit that's the first time I've heard or seen the Salish language. Very cool. Well done by the Spokane Indians. Hopefully Cleveland learns a thing or two from the Rangers Short A affiliate.

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THIS is what I like to see with NA imagery in sports... an opportunity to respectfully educate the public about indigenous peoples and their culture (instead of paying" tribute" with racial slurs and racist imagery).

I find it interesting that Native Americans don't find the Redskins offensive at all. For some reason the only people that do are white people who have no reason to care and people who would make money off of suing Dan Snyder. If you don't like the team don't buy stuff from them, but I have a feeling the people who wouldn't buy their stuff already don't. It seems like nobody cares about what other people do except a group of people that always like to start problems.

what? google "oneida indian tribe"

but we're not going to go down this road in this thread are we?

No, we're not. This thread is going to stay focused on the Spokane Indians' branding.

Redskins-centric debate, as well as more general discussion of the topic of Native American-branding in sports, has been merged into the existing pertinent thread in the Sports In General forum.

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I presume they will. I'd expect a press release when unveiled, and then a page in the program/on the website with background.

Most of the time, alt-language jerseys are made because the language is widely spoken in the area. This is a unique opportunity to educate.

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  • 2 months later...

UPDATE from the Spokesman-Review:

SpokaneIndiansSalishJerseys_t620.jpg?161

When the Spokane Indians baseball players take the field this summer, the team name will be blazoned across their chests: “Sp’q’n’i.”

That’s the Spokane Salish language version of the name. On opening day, June 13, this Short Season Class A minor league baseball team will become the first-ever professional baseball team to use a Native American language in this way.

The jersey is the fruit of an unusual collaboration between a team and a tribe. Unusual, because in several high-profile examples – the Washington Redskins and the Cleveland Indians, to name two – the issue of Indian-related team names and mascots has generated more controversy than collaboration. In Cleveland, the “Chief Wahoo” mascot has been derided as a demeaning cartoon; in Washington, D.C., the team name has been derided as just plain racist.

In Spokane – or should we say Sp’q’n’i – both the tribe and its namesake team have worked hard in recent decades to establish the name Spokane Indians as a tribute, as opposed to just a mascot. In 2006, the tribe helped to create new circular team logo, with words written in the Salish language. This year, the tribe worked with the team in creating the new Sp’q’n’i jersey, and supplied the team with an accurate rendering of the word (which also includes a final symbol not found in the English alphabet).

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2014/mar/16/spokane-indians-baseball-players-uniforms-sport/

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