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Penobscot Nation Ambassador calls Cleveland baseball name change ‘progress’

When the 2021 season comes to a close, the Cleveland Guardians will be the team’s new name.
Cleveland Guardians will be team's new name next season.
Cleveland Guardians will be team's new name next season.(Cleveland baseball team)
Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 3:17 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - The professional baseball team in Cleveland has a new name.

It’s a change tribes here in Maine have been pushing for for years.

When the 2021 season comes to a close, the Cleveland Guardians will be the team’s new name.

After announcing their intent to change the name last year, Cleveland rolled out the news this morning on social media with a message narrated by Tom Hanks.

The team has been known as the Indians since 1915.

Old Town’s Louis Sockalexis, considered to be the first Native American pro ballplayer, is said by some to be the inspiration for the name, although that has been disputed over the years.

Here in Maine, tribal leaders have been advocating for these types of changes to be made from the state’s schools all the way to the professional levels.

“It’s progress,” said Penobscot Nation Ambassador Maulian Dana. “It feels great. We passed a law in Maine banning these mascots in schools and universities here. The Washington Football Team has changed. I just feel like there’s a real shift in the consciousness of this country where we are actually seeing these mascots as racism and as harmful. I am really happy for Indigenous people all over the country that we don’t have to look at Chief Wahoo anymore.”

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