The Edmonton-based CFL team will no longer be called “Eskimos”.
The team reviewed the decision, announced by the team’s board of directors, and said twice this year that it was naming it, which has been associated with Edmonton sports teams since the 19th century.
“Our team has a long history of wins both on and off the field and we will continue to move forward,” board chairman Janice Agrios said in a statement. “We consider this change important in response to our recent engagements and research results. Going forward, we want the community to focus on the work we are doing and the best of our team on the field as the most successful franchise in the CFL. “
The statement added that the club would “start a wide-ranging engagement process” to find a new name, including “research and engagement with seasonal seatholders, casual ticket buyers and partners”.
The death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody in May was one of the reasons for the rise of protests seeking to end caste and social injustice around the world. This led to the renaming of several North American sports teams, and eventually Washington led the NFL team to review the use of the name “Redskins” and the Cleveland MLB team to consider the use of the name “Indians”.
But the spotlight has been in the name of Edmonton’s team in the past. In 2015, just days before the club defeated the Ottawa Red Blacks to win its most recent Gray Cup, Canada’s national Inuit organization called for a change of name to Natan Obed, president of Inuit Tapirit Kanatami.
“It would not be right for any party to name any ethnic group,” Obed said Edmonton Sun.. “It’s part of the past. It is not part of the present and should not be part of the future.
The Edmonton CFL team announced in February that it would name “Eskimos” after a year-long review that included discussions with Inuit leaders.
Agrios said at the time, “We’ve heard a wide range of opinions from people in the Inuit community who were strong enough to support the name, and some (who) weren’t.” “What we’ve consistently heard is the desire to be more engaged with the club.”
On July 3, the team reiterated that the name would not be changed, citing a similar study conducted in February. However, just hours after the announcement, the club issued a second statement stating that the “recent increase in attention to the name” would “increase our ongoing engagement with the Inuit community to assess their views.” Days later, the insurance provider said it would no longer sponsor the team without changing its name after Belaride Direct, the club said it would expedite its review further and make a decision later in the month.
The party said in a statement on Tuesday that “recent investigations have shown that opinions regarding the name of the party are changing.” “While many fans are deeply committed to keeping the name, others are increasingly uncomfortable with Monica. The long-term reality of the club requires everyone to come back to this change and continue to support the team, especially in this challenging financial time. We are grateful for the support of our partners and know that we can count on them to support us in making these difficult decisions and helping us through change. “
The current Edmonton CFL team was founded as “Eskimos” in 1949 and has won 14 Gray Cups since 1954 in the modern CFL era.
The origin of the word Eskimo is unclear, but people living in northern Canada have distanced themselves from the term since the 1970s to acquire ancestral land. Some historians believe that the word comes from the word algonquin which means “to eat raw meat”, while others say that it comes from another primitive word that refers to people wearing snowshoes.
People in northern Canada have used the term Inuit to define themselves for centuries. It means “people” in Inkut.
Including files from the Canadian press.