NCAI Commends Announcement by Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Franchise of Its New Name “Guardians”

Published on Jul 23, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC | The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) commends today’s announcement by the Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise in Cleveland of its new team name and mascot, the “Guardians.” The announcement by the Cleveland Guardians comes seven months after its decision to retire its long-used “Indians” name and mascot, a decision it reached following an extensive process to engage with and learn from tribal leaders, leading scholars, local and national Native organizations, and community stakeholders.

“With today’s announcement, the Cleveland baseball team has taken another important step forward in healing the harms its former mascot long caused Native people, in particular Native youth,” said NCAI President Fawn Sharp. “We call on the other professional sports teams and thousands of schools across the country that still cling to their antiquated Native ‘themed’ mascots to immediately follow suit. NCAI also looks forward to continuing its work with the Cleveland Guardians to help grow the national movement of respect for Tribal Nations, cultures, and communities, a movement that values, teaches, and validates who Native people are today, what makes us unique, the many important contributions we make to this country, and our rightful place in the diverse mosaic that is America.”

NCAI is the oldest, largest, and most representative national organization serving American Indian and Alaska Native Tribal Nations and their citizens. It has been leading Indian Country’s movement to eradicate offensive Native “themed” mascots from sports and popular culture for more than 50 years.


About the National Congress of American Indians: 

Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments and communities, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies, and promoting a better understanding among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights. For more information, visit

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