We reported last week about a petition on change.org, requesting that Yeti drop the word “Tribe” from the regular gatherings it hosts for Yeti owners around the world. Petitioners claim that Yeti’s adoption of the word, used in the context of Native American Tribes, amounts to cultural appropriation and is insensitive to the centuries of injustices suffered by Indigenous people. Yesterday, Yeti responded that they would drop the word from their marketing. Below is the response from Yeti themselves.
When Yeti Cycles started thirty-five years ago, the founders felt strongly about building a community that was founded on racing and the belief that mountain bikes make us better people. We shared this with our friends at the races, at festivals and ultimately at Yeti Tribe Gatherings, where hundreds gather each year to ride epic trails, and enjoy the camaraderie of post ride beers and stories together.
We’ve referred to this crew as the Yeti Tribe – a community of people who love to ride mountain bikes. The notion of tribe was appealing to us because it was community-centric, familial, and had strong social values.
Recently, we’ve learned our use of the term “Tribe” can be offensive to indigenous people, due to the violent history they have endured in the United States. The word “Tribe” is a colonial construct that was used to marginalize Native Americans and its continued use by non-Indigenous People fails to accurately recognize their history and unique status as Tribal Nations.
After discussion with members of the indigenous community, studying accurate representations of our shared history, and reflecting on our values as a company, Yeti Cycles has decided we will no longer use the term “Tribe” in our marketing.
The community we have built will move forward and thrive. Yeti Gatherings will continue to be our most valued events of the year. We have walked away from a word, but the soul of our community remains intact. We ask you all to join us in embracing this change.
Thanks to the mountain bike community for your guidance and especially to the members of the Indigenous community for educating us on this issue.
See you on the trail.
Chris + Hoog
Grow Cycling Foundation aims to improve diversity and inclusion in cycling