INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Victory Field is being prepped for opening day on March 31.
When you come to an Indianapolis Indians game this year and sit down things will look a little different before first pitch because the team wants to pay homage to the land that Victory Field is built on.
Before the sounds of baseball fill the stadium, fans will hear a land acknowledgement statement, “As we prepare victory field for today’s game. The Indianapolis Indians wish to acknowledge the Miami, Potawatomi, Shawnee, Delaware, Peoria, and Kickapoo peoples. On whos ancestral homelands this field was built. We honor these grounds and all indigenous people who continue to reside in Indiana … and celebrate their resilience and strength’s,” read Chief Brian Buchanan of the Miami Nation of Indians of Indiana.
When Buchanan read that statement over the loudspeaker before every single game, what went through his mind?
“It touches your heart. It really does. It almost brings a tear to your eyes that something that’s happened so long ago by our ancestors, and then some 100 years later they’re finally getting recognition of. It’s very admirable,” Buchanan said.
The Indianapolis Indians told I-Team 8 they plan on this being a long-term partnership that could include highlighting culture of the Miami Nation of Indians of Indiana during games.
Bruce Schumacher, chairman and chief executive officer of the Indianapolis Indians, said, “We’re very open-minded about it. Whatever tells their story the best way. They’re the best judge of that, we’re not. We have the ability to amplify it and give them a platform.”
Buchanan told I-Team 8 the Miami Nation had concerns that their endorsement of the team would not be well-received, but they chose to do so anyway because they view the team name as an honor.
“I hope many people don’t judge the Miami Indians of Indiana on our decision to do so,” Buchanan said.
The Indianapolis Indians will also be giving financial support to the Miami Nation for scholarships so their tribe members can pursue their educational goals.