Tribe Wants NJ Town to Keep Native American in Logo

by Molly Wharton

A northern New Jersey town is considering changing its logo, which currently includes a depiction of a Native American, but members of a nearby Native American tribe are objecting.

Franklin Lakes currently includes the depiction on its letterhead, business cards, vehicles, and website, according to the town’s local news site, The Record. Many of its neighboring towns also include Native American images on their logos in reference to the tribes that used to live in the region. 

The town posted an online survey asking residents to choose between two different logos, one that included a Native American and one that did not. The borough administrator reported that out of the 900 residents who responded, 74 percent preferred the logo that did not include the Native American. Residents could also submit anonymous comments, which the administrator said mostly focused on whether the Native American image is historical or offensive.

The Ramapough Lenape Nation, which is the nearest tribe to the borough, wants the town to keep its original logo. 

“We’re tired of people trying to decide what would offend us,” Autumn Wind Scott, a Ramapough council member and head of the New Jersey Commission on Indian Affairs, told the paper. 

A Ramapough chief Dwaine Perry added, “There is a vast difference between using a dignified image that represents the native people and using a logo that shows a caricature of the American Indian.”

The town council has not yet decided whether or not they will change the logo. 

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