INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Indians will keep their team name as is, the organization announced Wednesday. The baseball team will also partner with a local Native American tribe.

The club made the announcements Wednesday in a news release, saying that they are partnering with the Miami Nation of Indians of Indiana.

Partnership with tribe

“The partnership will include a land acknowledgment, recognition of Miami veterans during Native American Heritage Night at Victory Field, support of the Miami scholarship program and fan educational opportunities,” the release said.

The Miami Nation of Indians chief, Brian Buchanan, released a statement regarding his excitement surrounding the partnership.

“We are grateful to the Indianapolis Indians for the opportunity to share our story with Hoosiers throughout central Indiana,” said Buchanan. “When the history of Indiana is studied, the
major influence of Native American people is seen in the names of Indiana cities, state parks, rivers, food, celebrations and other cultural points of interest.”

Team name

As for the team’s name, the Indians said it will remain unchanged.

“The team’s name, which has been the Indianapolis Indians since 1902, will remain the same during the 2023 and 2024 seasons as the organization explores and activates programs with the Miami,” according to the release.

Buchanan said the tribe supports this decision.

“We have encouraged the team to remain the Indianapolis Indians,” he said.

Miami Nation of Indians of Indiana

The Miami Nation of Indians of Indiana is not federally recognized in the United States. It is instead a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

“They have been federally recognized in the past, and they are very passionate about reinstating that federal recognition,” the Indianapolis Indians said Thursday.

“Our Federal Recognition was illegally taken from us in the late 1800s so for now we are a registered 501(c)3 not for profit,” the tribe’s website reads.

Other tribes’ response

Carolina Castoreno, Executive Director of American Indian Center of Indiana, Inc., said that she is disappointed in the club’s announcements. In her duties with the center, Castoreno helps represent the federally recognized tribes of Indiana.

On Thursday, Castoreno said the tribes she represents did not want the Indians to keep their name and that the groups previously met with the Indians organization to express that.

Castoreno said she and the tribes she represents are frustrated by the process and troubled by the decision. She also said that the American Indian Center of Indiana is working on a release to fully express their disappointment.