First, the club announced that it will ban headdresses from the United Center and all team events after more extensive dialogue with local and national Native American groups.
“We have always hoped that our fans maintain an atmosphere of respect, and after extensive and meaningful conversations with our Native American partners, we have decided to formalize these expectations. In the future, headdresses will be banned for fans who register for Blackhawks sanctioned events or the United Center when Blackhawks home games resume, ”the team said in a statement.
“These symbols are sacred, traditionally reserved for rulers who have earned a place of great respect in their tribe, and should not be generalized or used as costume or for everyday use.”
The team also said they planned to “further integrate Native American culture and storytelling” throughout the organization, “from broader community engagement and training front office staff to increased presence in our game presentation, around our arena and across all digital team channels. The team said.
“Education will be our beacon, and these efforts will continue to honor the contributions of Native Americans to our society, including the legacy of Black Hawk, as well as to show that these achievements are not limited to history books and books. museums, but are currently thriving within our military enterprise. , the arts and more, ”the team’s statement continued.
In addition, the club said it was working on creating “a new, state-of-the-art wing at the Trickster Cultural Center.” The “Chicago Blackhawks Cultural Education Center” will include Native American artifacts from the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History, and “will incorporate greater use of technology to create an interactive space than students in Chicagoland, Northwest Indiana and from southern Wisconsin will be able to visit as part of their core program.
While other organizations in the sports world have recently chosen to change their names in order to avoid appropriating Indigenous culture in the form of team names or mascots, the Blackhawks argue their situation is unique because that the organization bears the name of a specific person.
The organization said it would announce more details of its community engagement plans in the coming months.