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Winnipeg mayor wants the Eskimos to change their team name
Published Wednesday, November 8, 2017 5:17PM MST
Last Updated Thursday, November 9, 2017 5:56PM MST
Winnipeg mayor Brian Bowman thinks the Edmonton Eskimos should change their team name.
“I think there’s an opportunity to have a more inclusive name,” he said. “That’s ultimately a decision for the team, though.”
Bowman, who is Metis, also said he respects the Edmonton CFL organization but would prefer a different name.
The Eskimos responded to the mayor's comments on Wednesday through a team statement, saying in part:
We are always interested in hearing what people think within our community and elsewhere, on this topic or any other topic related to our Football Club.
We use the Edmonton Eskimos name with pride and respect.
The Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami agreed with Bowman.
“It is my hope that the team will respect the wishes of Inuit and replace its moniker with a team name that is not widely considered an ethnic slur, and does not use an Indigenous ethnicity as its base,” President Natan Obed said.
Some Edmontonians see a possible name change as a way to continue reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, while others said changing the name is not worth it.
“There’s a history of racism in Canada,” a woman told CTV News. “Especially with native Americans, and I do feel that doing things to right that and correct that is good.”
“I don’t see a reason to change it,” a man said. “I think you might want to focus on other problems instead rather than something small like that.”
The Eskimos are facing the Blue Bombers in the western semi-final on Saturday in Winnipeg.
With files from Angela Jung