The houses are: Thunderbird, Horned Serpant, Wampus, and Pukwudgie
I’m going to give you a very condensed version as to why this is a problem since there is already and will continue to be much wonderful analysis on the topic done by people more educated and brilliant than I.
The Hogwarts Houses are called Hufflepuff, Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. Of these names the only one that is not a made up nonsense term is Ravenclaw. Actually that’s untrue, ravens have talons. So there you go.
Hufflepuff is a nonsense word. It is very fun to say.
Native American mythos is not nonsense. The oppression and appropriation of Native American cultures (not a monolith) isn’t nonsense. We put a genocidal monster who aimed to exterminate every single tribe left in North America on money, we continue to not acknowledge the displacement of First Nations, and then there is my hometown of Cleveland
Before you dash off to the internet and tell everyone to lighten up, and that they are reading too much into this, and that this is being overly sensitive and politically correct, this is something you need to consider:
JK Rowling made up names for the Hogwarts Houses that were meant to be whimsical and fun. These names are associated with frivolity. By associating real aspects of Native American culture with these terms she is saying that a culture that has been ignored, appropriated, illegalized, and then fetishized by white people is whimsical nonsense. She is supporting the American Origin Story that cites Native American tribes as this relic from the past instead of members of our country who have been abused and whose culture has been cherry picked. She is giving Europe an out for colonizing America and she is giving current Americans permission to not reflect on how we became a nation and what we continue to do within our nation to people belonging to Native American tribes and living on reservations. In an election year where Donald Trump is running for president, you cannot maintain that white supremacy is Not A Thing.
I do not think JK Rowling intended to do anything wrong here. I think she was trying to be inclusive. But impact versus intent must be considered.
I would gladly take a Pottermore quiz that sorts me into Guineasniffles, Tigerfart, Toejam, and Slurpee. I would love to have long battles about whether Jumpsnorkel House’s prioritizing cleanliness is meant to be symbolic of class warfare or if Finklesnoot House produces better domestic Dinglehopper players but better international Quidditch players. I want Rowling to create the world she wants to create. I just don’t want her to do it at the expense of Native Americans.
I sincerely hope that the leaked names are not the names of the houses and that Rowling finds a different way to incorporate Native American culture without being a part of the problem. I hope she is able to give representation rather than participate in appropriation.
But frankly my hopes aren’t that high.