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The following is a ''list of sports team names and mascots derived from ethnic groups of peoples'' including generically used terms those named after specific peoples and words or iconography derived from indigenous languages or traditions
There is considerable controversy over these team names and mascots because various American Indians activist groups view them as disrespectful and offensive Most notably the National of American Indians] has issued a resolution opposing continued usage of Native team names mascots and logos Various tribal entities have also issued resolutions opposing usage as well
According to a 2002 Sports Illustrated article (Price SL "The Indian Wars" March 4, 2002 pp 66-72) 83% of American Indian respondents to a Sports Illustrated poll said that professional teams should not stop using Indian nicknames mascots or symbols
Scholars have challenged the Sports Illustrated findings on multiple grounds King et al. (2002) argue (1) the SI poll is problematic because it serves to distract readers from the history and implications of mascots (2) The survey features problematic sampling and identification issues produce non-representative and un-generalizable findings (for example Snipp (1992) writes of the difficulty involved in any quantitative research on American Indians in national polling) (3) SI decontextualizes mascots and the controversy about them (4) The article discussing the poll concludes that mascots are unproblematic merely because a majority of polled Native people say they are thus discounting the validity of a critical minority And (5) the consequences for public debate and social justice are ignored by the poll which treats the issue as critically as SI treats sports injuries or debate over which teams will make the playoffs

Team names


  • Atlanta Braves (MLB) originally Boston Braves then Milwaukee Braves plus all but one of their minor league affiliates:
    • Danville Braves
    • Gulf Coast Braves
    • Mississippi Braves
    • Richmond Braves
    • Rome Braves
  • Burlington Indians
  • Cleveland Indians (MLB)
  • Indianapolis Indians
  • Kinston Indians
  • New York Yankees
  • Peoria Chiefs
  • Spokane Indians
  • Syracuse Chiefs — The team changed its name from "Chiefs" to "SkyChiefs" from 1996–2006 but reverted to "Chiefs" in 2007 Today's Chiefs do not use any imagery related to indigenous peoples instead using railroad imagery
  • Yaquis de Obregón


  • Edmonton Eskimos (CFL)
  • Kansas City Chiefs (NFL)
  • Washington Redskins (National League|NFL]) originally Boston Braves then Boston Redskins
    • Named after Boston Braves (MLB); changed their name to Redskins when they moved from Braves Field to Fenway Park


  • Chicago Blackhawks (NHL)
  • Frölunda Indians Elitserien
  • Spokane Chiefs


  • Brooklin Redmen (MSL)
  • Burlington Chiefs
  • Elora Mohawks
  • Exeter Chiefs
  • Iroquois Nationals the men's lacrosse team representing the Iroquois Confederacy in international competition
  • Six Nations Chiefs (MSL) a team representing a First Nations reserve in Ontario that is home to members of all six Iroquois nations plus a band of the Lenape (aka Delaware) nation
  • St Regis Indians (MSL) a team representing a Mohawk reservation in New York
  • Tomahawks Lacrosse Club


  • The Chiefs a rugby union team representing the central North Island of New Zealand in the Super 14 competition
  • New Zealand rugby union team|New Zealand Māori] a New Zealand rugby union (and formerly rugby league) side whose members must be at least 1/16 Māori
  • Northland Rugby Union|Northland Taniwha] a rugby team in the Air New Zealand Cup named after a being from Māori mythology
  • The Tomahawks the official nickname of the United States national league team]

Soccer (Football)

  • Indios de Ciudad Juárez


  • Alaska Nanooks (Nanook is an Anglicized spelling of nanuq the Inuktitut word for polar bear)
  • Alcorn State Braves
  • Aloha Warriors
  • Arkansas State Indians
  • Bradley Braves
  • Brebeuf Jesuit Braves
  • Catawba Indians
  • Central Michigan Chippewas
  • Chowan Braves
  • Fighting Whites an intramural team at the University of Northern Colorado
  • Flint Central High School Indians
  • Florida Southern Moccasins
  • Florida State Seminoles
  • Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (men) and Rainbow Wahine (women); "Wahine" is the Hawaiian word for "woman"
    • Since 2000 each team has been allowed to select its own mascot name; most notably the football team has been simply known as "The Warriors" See University of Hawaii Athletics for details
  • Idaho Vandals (indigenous to Central Europe)
  • IUP Indians current mascot is a black bear called Cherokee
  • Lake View Warriors
  • Luther College Norse a/k/a Norsemen
  • Macklin Mohawks
  • McClymonds Warriors
  • Mississippi College Choctaws
  • Monterey YMCA Tribe
  • McMurry Indians
  • Newberry Indians
  • North Dakota Fighting Sioux
  • Northern Kentucky Norse
  • Notre Dame Fighting Irish (indigenous to Ireland)
  • Port Neches-Groves Indians
  • Ridley Raiders (Ridley High School Ridley Township PA)
  • Portland Winterhawks
  • San Beda Little Indians mascot of San Beda College that performs during halftime in some of the NCAA games Composed of fat elementary school children wearing red face paint and feather headgears
  • San Diego State Aztecs
  • Scappoose Indians Scappoose High School Scappoose Oregon Scappoose is the Chinook word for the area meaning gravely plain
  • ULL Ragin' Cajuns
  • UNC Pembroke Braves representing a college originally created to educate American Indians in the United States|American Indians
  • Utah Utes
  • Warroad Warriors
  • College of William and Mary Tribe


Defunct names

  • Adams State Indians now the "Grizzlies"
  • Akron Indians defunct National League] team formerly the "Pros"
  • Tri-Cities Blackhawks of what is now the NBA moved and renamed St. Louis / Atlanta "Hawks" after the bird
  • Canton/Akron Indians a minor league baseball farm team for the Cleveland Indians moved to Akron and became the "Aeros"
  • Carlisle Indians a school for American Indians that was a college football power in the early 1900s
  • Carthage Redmen reverted to the "Red Men"
  • Cleveland Indians of the National Football League team defunct
  • Cumberland Indians now the Cumberlands "Patriots"
    • This school was known as Cumberland College until 2005 when it became the University of the Cumberlands The nickname change came earlier
  • Dartmouth Indians disused since the 1970s in favor of continuing existing nickname "Big Green"
  • Dickinson State Savages renamed the "Blue Hawks" in 1972
  • Eastern Michigan Hurons now the "Eagles"
  • Eastern Washington Savages now the "Eagles"
  • Flint Indians team defunct
  • Grand Forks Central Redskins renamed the "Knights"
  • Grafton Blackhawks renamed to "Black Hawks"
  • Hartwick Warriors became the "Hawks" in 1994
  • Hermosillo Seris
  • Kansas City Scouts of the NHL moved to Colorado and became the Rockies now the New Jersey Devils
  • Louisiana-Monroe Indians now the "Warhawks"
  • Marquette Warriors became the "Golden Eagles" in 1994
  • UMass Redmen became the "Minutemen" in 1972 (According to the University "Redmen" and "Redwomen" referred to the uniforms worn by the atletics teams It was changed to "Minutemen" and "Minutewomen" out of sensitivity to American Indians)
  • MCLA Mohawks today the "Trailblazers"
  • Mexico City Aztecas
  • Miami Redskins now the "RedHawks"
  • Midwestern State Indians latterly the "Mustangs" as of the 2006 season
  • Nebraska Wesleyan Plainsmen today the "Prairie Wolves"
  • Oklahoma City U. Chiefs now the "Stars"
  • Oorang Indians an early NFL entry actually comprised mostly of American Indians
  • Parsippany High School Redskins Parsippany-Troy Hills NJ, now the "Redhawks"
  • Quinnipiac Braves became the "Bobcats" in 2002
  • St Bonaventure Brown Indians and Brown Squaws renamed the "Bonnies" in 1979
  • St John's University (New City)] formerly the "Redmen" became the "Red Storm" in 1995 to be gender-neutral and to avoid any appearance of racism The school's website indicates that the name did not refer to American Indians but to the school color a bright cardinal red
  • Salisbury Indians team defunct
  • Simpson Redmen and Lady Reds renamed the "Storm" in 1992
  • Southeast Missouri State Indians and Otahkians renamed the "Redhawks"
  • Southeastern Oklahoma State Savages renamed "Savage Storm" in 2006
  • Springfield Indians moved to Worcester and became the IceCats then Peoria Illinois where they are now the Rivermen
  • Seattle U. Chieftains now the "Redhawks"
  • Southern Nazarene Redskins now the "Crimson Storm"
  • Springfield College Chiefs now the "Pride"
  • Stanford Indians now known as the Stanford "Cardinal" (singular - for the school color a shade of red)
  • Stonehill Chieftains today the "Skyhawks"
  • Syracuse Orangemen (indigenous to Ireland now just Orange)
  • Tamalpais Indians became the Tamalpais High School "Red Tailed Hawks" [1] after 1990 Tamalpais High School official site: History of Tam High accessed 10/08/2006
  • Toronto Tecumseh (OALA Sr A) was the "Tecumseh" in the late 19th century and maybe early 20th; changed to "Toronto Young Torontos" by 1911


  • Chief Illiniwek University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Arguably a symbol and not a mascot)<---now retired
  • Chief Osceola Florida State University Seminoles
  • Chief Wahoo Cleveland Indians

Defunct mascots

  • the Golden State Warriors' "Indian warrior" logo was replaced in 1971
  • Marquette University's "Willie Wampum" retired in 1971
  • Syracuse University's "Saltine Warrior"
  • Kansas City Chiefs horse mascot "Warpaint"
  • Chief Brave Spirit University of Louisiana at Monroe retired in 2006 (mascot changed from "Indians" to "Warhawks")
  • Chief Moccanooga University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (use of this mascot ended in 1996)
  • Chief Noc-A-Homa Milwaukee and Braves] (Use of this mascot ended in early 1980s existed as late as 1983 season)
  • Princess Win-A-Lotta paired with Chief Noc-A-Homa introduced late 1970s dropped at same time as Noc-A-Homa

Fictional Teams

  • Charlestown Chiefs (Federal Hockey League) (Slap Shot)
  • The Mars Greenskins - Blernsball is the version of baseball in the year 3000 in the show Futurama
  • NY Mohawks - major league team The Seventh Game by Roger Kahn
  • Warriors - major league team Today's Game by Martin Quigley
  • Warbury Warriors - Stiker comic strip
  • Zucchini Warriors in the Gordon Korman novel of that name


King C. Richard Ellen J. Staurowsky Lawrence Baca Laurel R. Davis and Cornel Pewewardy 2002 Of Polls and Prejudice: Sports Illustrated’s Errant ‘Indian Wars’ Journal of Sport & Social Issues 26 (4) November: 381-402

See also

External links

names and mascots derived from Indigenous peoples