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, September 28 —October 5
Alaska Native Heritage Center Honored with 2023 International Guardians of Culture and Lifeways Award
Eighth Generation Blanket Featured on Cover of British Vogue in October
Here’s What's Going On in Indian Country, September 21 —September 28
The Land That Carries Our Ancestors: Contemporary Art by Native Americans Exhibition Begins Sept. 22 at National Gallery of Art

Stand with us in championing Indigenous journalism that makes a difference. Your support matters.

Support our Indigenous-led newsroom as we shed light on critical issues, such as the painful history of Indian Boarding Schools. To date, we've published nearly 200 stories dedicated to this important topic, providing insights and awareness to a global audience. Our news is freely accessible to all, but its production demands resources. That's why we're reaching out to you this month for your generous contribution.

For those who commit to a recurring donation of $12 per month or more, or make a one-time donation of $150 or greater, we're excited to offer you a copy of our upcoming Indian Boarding School publication. Additionally, you will be added to our Founder's Circle. Together, we can ensure that these vital stories continue to be told, shared, and remembered.

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].