Recently the news broke that Natives in Tech, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing a technological ecosystem for indigenous peoples, made a petition to the Apache Software Foundation asking them to stop using the word "Apache" and the Native American symbols in the logo, including the renaming of all projects developed under this name.
On the request mentions that using the word "Apache" and mark an indigenous identity to achieve their own objectives is perceived as unacceptable manipulation of the cultural values of national minorities, distorting the image of indigenous people and based on stereotypes established after spaghetti western movies.
To associate a tech company with such a romanticized notion, in which the existing and growing Native American community is treated as dead and gone, is seen as ignorant and offensive.
One of the founders, Brian Behlendorf, describes how he decided to choose the name Apache in the documentary "Trillions and Trillions Served":
I suggested the name Apache partly because web technologies at the time of release were called cyber this or spider that or something on those topics and I thought we needed something a little more interesting, a little more romantic, not to be a cultural appropriator or something. Like, I had just seen a documentary about Geronimo and the last days of a tribe of Native Americans called the Apaches, right, who succumbed to invasion from the west, from the United States, and were the last tribe to give up their territory and to me that represented almost romantically what I felt we were doing with this web server project…
According to the authors of the initiative, the Apache Foundation should act in accordance with its code of conduct, the fifth paragraph of which requires caution in the choice of words.
This frankly outdated “romantic” spaghetti-western presentation of a living and vibrant community as dead and gone to build a tech company “for the greater good” is as ignorant as it is offensive. We urge The Apache® Software Foundation to take the necessary steps to express the ally they promote so deeply on their website, to act in accordance with their own code of conduct, to “be careful what words [they] choose”, and change your name.
The Apache Foundation spokesperson said the community has heard and will listen to concerns. of Native Americans, but the change will take as long as it takes the community to discuss the issue, weigh the legal implications, and make an informed decision. Alternative ways to solve the problem are also being studied, but have not yet been publicly announced.
Romanticizing indigenous cultures is a way of framing them as static rather than dynamic. Nor does it acknowledge years of war, forced assimilation, and other adversarial policies entrenched as historical trauma throughout the generations and to this day. Organizations that claim to support indigenous peoples but have no real connection to them, relying instead on historical stereotypes, fail to be allies with those they are trying to emulate.
Until 2003, the name of the Apache http server was discussed in the project's FAQ as "a PATCHy server", ie An HTTP server resulting from modifications to the NCSA http server codebase. In 2003, the clarification was changed to indicate that the name was chosen out of respect for the indigenous Apache tribes.
To promote the initiative, 40 activists have published and signed a petition and among the supporters of the petition, in addition to including Bradley M. Kuhn, founder of the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC), there are also other renowned people, such as Josh Simmons, president of the board of directors of OSI (Open Source Initiative) and Erin Stein, Director of Data and Tech for Good.
Finally if you are interested in knowing more about it, you can check the details in the following link
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And because of people like this, proprietary software will continue to dominate.