NEW YORK — Fans of Cleveland’s professional baseball team are lamenting the end of an era with the retirement of the team’s “Indians” name this Sunday. Comedian Joey Clift (Cowlitz Indian Tribe) has some humorous advice to help them cope.  

On Friday, Clift released a three-minute animated video called How to Cope with Your Team Changing Its Native American Mascot on Comedy Central’s social media platforms.

Want more Native News? Get the free daily newsletter today.

The video features an all Native American cast that includes comics Jana Schmieding (Lakota) and Tai Leclaire (Mohawk) from Peacock’s Rutherford Falls and John Timothy from Spirit Rangers on Netflix. Indigenous cartoonist Marie Bower designed all of the “weird Native mascot faces,” according to a statement. 

Clift wrote, directed and stars in the short video.

“This is just a silly, three-minute comedy short, but with Rutherford Falls and Reservation Dogs coming out this year, I think it's so cool that Native comedians are finally getting opportunities in the media, and, due to the efforts of a lot of activists fighting for a long time, I'm so grateful that I got to make this video about Native mascots changing,” Clift said. “Comedy Central could not have been better partners in giving me a platform, and helping me make the thing I wanted to make.”

Clift's other writing include Spirit Rangers on Netflix, New Looney Tunes on Cartoon Network and Molly of Denali on PBS.  He was named one of Uproxx’s “26 Native American Comedians to Follow in 2020,” his award-winning animated short film Telling People You’re Native American When You’re Not Native Is A Lot Like Telling A Bear You’re A Bear When You’re Not A Bear.

Next year, Cleveland MLB fans will welcome the newly renamed Cleveland Guardians.

More Stories Like This

Here's What’s Going On in Indian Country Feb. 2 — Feb. 9
Call for Native American Artists to Participate in the 2023 Santa Fe Indian Market
Phoenix Suns Celebrate Native American Culture in Full Colors
Casting Call Out for Netflix's "Rez Ball"
Here’s What’s Going on in Indian Country, Jan. 27 — Feb. 2

12 years of Native News

This month, we celebrate our 12th year of delivering Native News to readers throughout Indian Country and beyond. For the past dozen years, we’ve covered the most important news stories that are usually overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the rise of the American Indian Movement (AIM), to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous People (MMIP) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools.

Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation this month to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps. If you’re in a position to do so, we ask you to consider making a recurring donation of $12 per month to help us remain a force for change in Indian Country and to tell the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked.

Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you. 

About The Author
Native News Online Staff
Author: Native News Online StaffEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Native News Online is one of the most-read publications covering Indian Country and the news that matters to American Indians, Alaska Natives and other Indigenous people. Reach out to us at [email protected]