The voluntary movement, which runs both physical and online training events for Paraplanners, has also apologised for what it now calls a “mistake” in using Wild West and Hollywood imagery of native Americans at its events.
Use of the name ‘Powwow’ and ‘Howwow’ will stop and native American imagery, such as warpaint donned by some members at events, will stop.
It has been encouraged to review its name by the Black Lives Matter campaign and by an email “challenging” the organisers and questioning the use of native American imagery.
In a statement the group said: “We’re learning from our mistakes. We’re fixing it. And - today - we’re sharing our news.”
The movement, set up in 2013 by Paraplanner Richard Allum and a small team, published a statement today headed: ‘It’s time we changed.’
A spokesman said: “In 2013, we set out with a simple ambition: To create an informal gathering designed by Paraplanners for Paraplanners to exchange views, learn things, fix things and share things. Taking inspiration from the unique quality of teepees to create space for conversation and cooperation in-the-round, we settled on the idea of staging an unconference event held in rolling countryside under open skies – in teepees.
“Because of the teepees' association with Native American tradition, we named the event the Paraplanners Powwow. The language and imagery and props and furnishings we adopted drew on the depictions of the 19th century United States popularised in ‘Western’ films and TV.
“But in recent weeks we’ve had plenty of reasons to think again about persisting with the ‘Powwow’ theme - not least because we received an email challenging us directly about our adoption and use of the powwow idea, naming and associated branding. As organisers, we should have recognised the harm that the adoption of the powwow would cause. We didn’t and we are sorry.
“What we can do is make changes now. That’s why, from now on, we’re the Paraplanners Assembly.”
The group says that although it is changing its name the events and the community remain exactly the same and there will continue to be informal gatherings “designed by Paraplanners for Paraplanners” to exchange views and share ideas and learning.