We are excited to have a bike counter installed on the Franklin Ave Bridge, but are dismayed that this product is named "eco-TOTEM." Change the name!
Change the Name
The product name for the super cool bike counter that will be installed on our Franklin Bridge is "eco-TOTEM," by the Eco Counter company. I have reached out several times to the company about their product name and how it disrespects the people indigenous to this place, and they have indicated that they won't be changing the name.
"Totem" is a word for a cultural indigenous object, not to be appropriated and commercialized for bike and pedestrian causes. A good product does not need to appropriate culture. Cultural appropriation lends to the oppression of Native people, by erasing and colonizing culture, or making culture into a commodity. (Further reading on the appropriation of "totem poles.")
Please join us in writing this company to change the name of their bike counter. A great product doesn't need to appropriate Native culture!
Minnesota is Anishinabe Ojibwe and Bdewakantonwan Dakota land, and we have a large Indigenous population in Minneapolis. We are coming together to ask that you change the name of your product to something that does not contribute to the oppression of Native people.
Or call 1-514-849-9779 / Toll Free: 1-866-518-4404 and email sales @eco-counter.com
Image from Hennepin County's project overview
Franklin Bridge will be closed to all traffic this summer: Here is the City's bike and pedestrian detour map.
When the Bridge reopens, it will have a repaired deck, better approaches for bikes, protected bikeways, and a fancy bike counter like this one on the Hawthorne Bridge in PDX:
For more information on the Franklin Bridge project, see the County's website.
Sign this petition so we can purchase a product that we can be proud of!