Natives in Tech, a US-based non-profit organization, has called upon the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) to change its name, out of respect for indigenous American peoples and to live up to its own code of conduct.
In a blog post, Natives in Tech members Adam Recvlohe, Holly Grimm, and Desiree Kane have accused the ASF of appropriating Indigenous culture for branding purposes.
Citing ASF founding member Brian Behlendorf’s description in the documentary “Trillions and Trillions Served” of how he wanted something more romantic than a tech term like “spider” and came up with “Apache” after seeing a documentary about Geronimo, the group said:
This frankly outdated spaghetti-Western ‘romantic’ presentation of a living and vibrant community as dead and gone in order to build a technology company ‘for the greater good’ is as ignorant as it is offensive.
(We could have sworn Apache stood for a patchy web server at one point…)
The aggrieved trio challenged the ASF to make good on its code of conduct commitment to “be careful in the words that [they] choose” by choosing a new name. The group took issue with what they said was the suggestion that the Apache tribe exists only in a past historical context, citing eight federally recognized Native American tribes that bear the name.
Most of the world wide web runs on servers running Apache software. I’d say the tech apache outnumbers the Native American Apaches significantly and these guys are pulling on the tails of the Apache foundation to gather attention to their cause of putting themselves into the news.