Say No to Indigenous Camp Names

With professional sports changing their names, should summer camps follow suit?

Owen Boberski

With professional sports changing their names, should summer camps follow suit?

Football teams such as the Redskins have changed their names out of respect for Indigenous people, so why not summer camps? I get camps not wanting to change the name of their camp because of tradition, but that camp having an Indigenous name is offensive to people.

Camps should be a safe place for everyone and having an Indigenous name for your camp could make people feel uncomfortable, and therefore, unsafe. A 6th-grade student, Avni Krishna, said, “Having Indigenous names for camps is not right because they are taking advantage of people’s cultures and traditions and them profiting off of people’s history is wrong.”

Such camps with Indigenous names tend to use other offensive terms when referring to camp events such as Tribal war. Tribal war is when two “tribes” compete in activities for victory over the other team. Tribal war is offensive to people and can make them feel uncomfortable. Some camps say they keep things at their camp to respect the Indigenous people. How is it respectful to have tribal war? It is basically saying that Indigenous tribes had to fight against one another and that it was their nature to fight against each other. Camps should just call it color war, there is no need to call it tribal war.

If you take the time to think about it, you will probably notice that your camp has activities that do not respect indigenous people.
Have you ever played the game Indian chief at your camp?

Indian chief is a game where one person goes out of the room and one person is chosen as “Chief” and everybody has to follow the “Chief” and the person comes back in the room and tries to guess who the leader is. My question is why can’t they call it other things? Why does it have to be called Indian chief? There are many other games like Indian chief at camps that are disrespectful to Indigenous people.
Camps should not be able to keep their Indigenous names and also should not be able to keep things at camp that are offensive to Indigenous people such as tribal war and Indian chief.