A few comments popped up discussing this in another thread and I did not want them to get lost in the shuffle.
It is very ironic that so much discussion about race and inequality in stem education is taking place on a site with a name such as this. Many school’s have removed chiefs and native americans as mascots and tons of information can be found online as to why. Many groups have protested against profesional sports with similar names. This site is an iconic part of the first experience and although it is based on a legendary team it is time for a change.
The mascot was the Chief, the school was Pontiac Central. The city is named after a Native American.
Since the website has literally 0 caricatures, offensive references to “redskins”, no logo any longer, and refers only to the former name of a team, school mascot, and team sponsor, I don’t personally see how this is comparable to something like the Washington Redskins.
It is a website name only. If the owners want to change it, go for it, but reroute any traffic from this domain to whatever you pick.
I personally don’t think it is necessary.
As are many many other state names, rivers, cities, etc.
Chief Delphi originates from the old team 47, Chief Delphi, out of what used to be Pontiac Central HS. The school’s nickname was “Chiefs,” and they were sponsored by the Delphi Corporation. Chief Pontiac, the namesake of the city, was an Ottawa war chief.
Don’t think the OP meant to imply anyone is “bad” here. It is okay to question if something is offensive or not, and then rationally discuss it.
As stated above, I don’t think anything offensive is happening here with a website name, whose origins are based in city and actual Native American names paying homage to someone.
The US has a very dark past, but not all places have done a poor job of honoring and respecting those the settlers and government have wronged. Many of these sites and statues are paying respect. As long as we avoid caricatures and try to negatively appropriate things, we are okay. Others feel free to disagree.
I would be interested to hear the perspectives of Native American FIRST participants on this, rather than us just trying to guess what is or is not hurtful to people in these groups. We are all used to just figuring out if something “makes sense” to us based on our own experience and intuition - but these are experiences we don’t have, so we can’t always intuit an accurate assessment of the term.
If at some point it is clear the site should be renamed, I would suggest calling it “CD Forums” or something like that, to preserve some past communication about the site and to make for an easy transition into new usage. That said I don’t currently have an opinion on how necessary that is.
Chief in Chiefdelphi has its orgin in a school mascot from a school named after an Indian chief. The origins of the word chief goes way back to before Europeans had any inkling of Native American populations or that some of us would day erroneously call them Indians and to refer to their leaders as chiefs because just because somebody was lost. The English stole the word from the French who appropriated it from the Romans. If you look at the actual definition of the word chief, I think CD is worthy of the definition. As somebody has already said, it is up to the list owners, but I don’t see changing the name.
This is a good question. I did some quick Googling to try and find consensus from indigenous communities on the use of this word. Some reading:
So words like ‘chief’, ‘brave’, and ‘savage’ are not, in and of themselves, offensive; but their use in the context of racially stereotypical labels of Native people is
This is a word that is commonly given as a nickname which incorrectly labels Native American men. The term ‘chief’ itself is incorrect. American Indian leaders were never ‘chiefs’, but headmen, or clan mothers, and so on. Not ‘chiefs’. Native leaders were highly disrespected by the USA. So calling someone ‘Chief’, is just a way to continue that disrespect. Trust us when we tell you, being called ‘chief’ carries with it the same insulting, belittling sting for a Native man as being called ‘boy’ does for African American men.
This salutation has the potential to trivialize both the hereditary chief who has the power passed down from one generation to the next along blood lines or other cultural protocols and the elected chief who is chosen by band members. Being called “Chief” can make people feel very uncomfortable, especially if they are not chiefs.
Canada’s largest school board is phasing out the word “chief” from senior staff job titles, saying the move is being made out of respect for Indigenous peoples.
The Toronto District School Board’s decision raised eyebrows in some quarters, but a spokesman said the action was taken “in the spirit” of recommendations made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Nicholas Ng-A-Fook, the director of the teacher education program at the University of Ottawa, wasn’t familiar with the TDSB’s efforts but noted that in a broader context where sports teams, for example, use derogatory images of Indigenous people alongside the term “chief,” disassociating from the word makes sense.
“Even though the etymology and history of chief in terms of administrative positions wasn’t necessarily linked to the appropriation of … the tribal chief appointed, the fact that there might be a connection in light of sports teams being named ‘The Chiefs’ and having as a mascot a chief, that they would want to disassociate themselves from the possibility.”
I looked this up a while back when it was first brought up in the CEJ thread. While I didn’t find a list of names/mascots that the NCAI found offensive, a 2013 report  stated that:
1963 - Dallas Texans renamed in move as the Kansas City Chiefs. No professional sports team has adopted a Native team name since
Change the mascot’s “History of Progress” page also lists changes :
Oklahoma City University, a college affiliated with the United Methodist Church, decides to replace its “Chiefs” nickname dating back to 1944.
Oregon’s Chemeketa Community College drops its “Chiefs” nickname and selects “Storm” for its new one. Since the 1970s, twenty high schools in Oregon have also changed their “Indian” related nicknames and mascots.
The school board for Penfield High School, near Rochester, NY, displays a healing gesture and votes 7-0 to retire the school’s “Chiefs” sports team token.
There are also a couple of examples of “Chief” being kept but mascots being changed to trains or dogs, so perhaps “Chief” alone without other stereotyping (as in the case with this website) is acceptable, but in general it seems like the NCAI does consider it offensive. It’s now impossible for Pontiac Central High to change their nickname or mascot, as they got a new mascot (a phoenix ) when they were merged with Northern merged to form Pontiac High School, however their original mascot indisputably would be considered offensive today: