There have been a lot of controversies about sports teams with putatively racist nicknames, mascots, and traditions, most notably ever-louder calls for the Washington Redskins to change their name. Here’s an unusually happy outcome of one such situation:

In the 2006 offseason, the [Spokane] Indians began a process to redesign their logo and uniforms. As per tradition, they began by avoiding the use of any American Indian imagery, but early in the process of redesign, the Spokane Nation contacted the team about officially supporting the team. In the process, the tribe gave permission to the team to adopt subtle and tasteful imagery, in order to pay homage to the team’s history and new connection with the tribe. The cooperation, called “historic” by the team, included the creation of a secondary logo written in Salish, the traditional language of the tribe.

Classy logo, too!


  1. I’m reasonably sure the logo is supposed to say [spoaquin suχʷ tsɬsepʼtsinʼm].

  2. Won’t the less sophisticated sort of American adolescent make fun of “sux”? The more sophisticated AA might confuse it with “Sioux”.

  3. I’m reasonably sure the logo is supposed to say [spoaquin suχʷ tsɬsepʼtsinʼm].
    By “is supposed to say” you mean “should more properly say”? Also, did you mean to type u after q?

  4. I think actually the sound must be something like [spoaqin suχʷ tʃʼɬsepʼtsinʼm]. There’s a pair of diacritics above the C.

  5. Actually [spoaqin suχʷ tʃʼɬsepʼtsinˀm] — this is the language in question: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalispel-Pend_d%27Oreille

  6. But what does the logo mean?

  7. From their (abandoned) trademark application in TESS:

    The foreign wording in the mark translates into English as SPOKANE INDIANS BASEBALL CLUB in Salish (native American tribal language).

  8. Is their language much spokane these days?
    Anyway, enough of the teasing and learnedness; it’s hats off to the Spokane Nation, say I.

  9. I was rather surprised that I couldn’t find the Salish version of the logo on their main website – the only place I could find it was under merchandise as a $4 lapel pin.

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