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(UPDATED 7/21) Edmonton CFL team to discontinue use of name "Eskimos"

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https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2020/07/04/edmonton-eskimos-keeping-team-name/

 

I know, this thread won't be long either, but I'm surprised by the decision. I thought that there had been sufficient backlash among First Nation People to make this a given as well.  If anyone can't point me toward some good discussion on this, I'd appreciate it.

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With the other issues the will have this season, it might have all been moot anyway. Especially if the CFL actually folded. I'm not sure how the indigenous population is different than it is in America. 

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(Just to get this in on the record before the lock so people can see)

 

For a pretty basic answer to @walkerws’s comment, Canada has three different indigenous populations. There’s the First Nations (akin to Native Americans), the Metis (who are the decendents of early French settlers and First Nations) and the Inuit (the northern population who “Eskimos” refers to). The naming of the team refers to the Inuit population. This part is coming from my own fuzzy memory and internet comments, so take it with a grain of salt, but "Eskimo" is accepted as a collective name for the three different northern indigenous populations/groups in Alaska, one of which is the Inuit, but Canada only has the Inuit and "Eskimo" is not considered the proper term for anyone in Canada.

 

As the article says, the Eskimos did relatively recent consultations with Inuit communities about the name. The Eskimos said the findings showed there was considerable support for the name and no real consensus on it being offensive or not, which is partially why the calls to change the name haven't previously had the same staying power like the calls for Washington or Chief Wahoo. The context of this article is in response to the Eskimos announcing yesterday they are going to be increasing engagement with the Inuit community about the name in the wake of Washington and Cleveland’s announcements.

 

After the Eskimos announcement, an Nunavut MP tweeted out saying that the fact there was no consensus means the team should change the name. Another Inuit lady who was part of the consultations tweeted out that she told the Eskimos the name was offensive and that the consultations were “BS” because they were invite only and not open to the general public.

 

This is an ongoing story right now, so just because they said here they are going to be keeping the name now, doesn’t mean it’s going to stay for much longer. (The apparent clubhouse leader for a potential new name is absolutely terrible, but that discussion is for another time).

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Thanks.  This is what I was hoping to see.

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(An additional point to make before the lock)

 

Like I said, the calls for Edmonton to change their branding have never really been on the same level as the calls for Washington and Cleveland to change. There’s the occasional article/news report in favour of a change, but they never really stick around to the extent of Washington and Cleveland.
 

One reason for this is there always a response that the Inuit communites supported the name (though the timeline of when the consultations happened is foggy in my memory because some articles right now read like Edmonton just finished the consultations, but I swear I remember reading the team had found the name was supported well before this).

 

The other reasons I think, and this is more speculation/assumptions from me, is that “Eskimos” isn’t seen as derogatory as “Redskins” and that they don’t use any questionable Indigenous imagery in their branding like Cleveland.

 

Edmonton has always just used the double-E logo and the only sort of real connection to “Eskimos” or the north is that one of their mascots is a polar bear, introduced back in 1997. It was part of a weird shortlived primary logo where the head and arms of the polar bear was added to the double-E logo at the same time. There’s no Indigenous imagery anywhere in their branding outside of their name being “Eskimos” and it appearing in wordmarks.

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Same as with Washington and Cleveland, if and when the name actually changes, we can have a thread. Until then, it's all speculation that leads down roads we've been down before and would rather not go down again.

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CFL Eskimos Facing Pressure to Change Name

July 8, 2020 - 13:22 PM

The United States isn’t the only country facing calls to change pro sports names, the Canadian Football League’s Edmonton Eskimos, like the Washington Redskins, have been served an ultimatum from a corporate sponsor because of their name. Belairdirect, a Canadian-based insurance company issued the warning to the Eskimos yesterday that

Read More...

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So here it is then. (Mods feel free to do whatever with this thread if you want to wait for the bot to post whenever an article is written).

 

I really hope it's not going to be Empire. It's probably going to be Empire, but I really don't want it to be Empire.

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Also this tweet this afternoon from an Edmonton city councillor of Metis descent:

 

 

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It's officially official — discontinuing the use of "Eskimos," no new name yet: https://www.esks.com/2020/07/21/edmonton-football-team-discontinues-use-name-eskimos/

 

Quote

The Edmonton Eskimo Football Club Board of Directors has made the decision to discontinue the use of the word “Eskimo” in the team’s name.

 

Since adopting the name over 100 years ago, our Club and its predecessor organizations have celebrated the hardiness and spirit of those who live in the north. The team’s values of community, integrity, respect and inclusion will not change with this decision.

 

Our Club launched an extensive research and engagement process on the name three years ago, with an emphasis on listening to Inuit communities. We undertook this comprehensive effort to meet our commitment and continue our tradition of being responsive to community perspectives. We augmented that outreach and research with more recent engagement and surveys involving Inuit, partners, season seat holders, casual ticket purchasers and the community at large. We are proud of this work and we intend to continue the Club’s efforts to strengthen our relationship with Inuit communities.

 

Recent findings demonstrate that views regarding the team name are shifting. While many fans are deeply committed to keeping the name, others are increasingly uncomfortable with the moniker. The long-term viability of the Club requires everyone to get behind this change and continue to support the team, especially during these challenging financial times. We are grateful for the backing of our partners and know that we can count on them to support us in making this difficult decision and helping us through the change.

 

“Our team has a long history of winning – both on and off the field – and we will continue to do so going forward,” said Janice Agrios, Chair of the Board of Directors. “We feel it is important to make this change in response to the findings of our recent engagement and research. Going forward, we want the focus to be on the work we do in the community and our team’s excellence on the field as the CFL’s most successful franchise.”

 

The Club will undertake a comprehensive engagement process on a new name. That process will include research and engagement with season seat holders, casual ticket purchasers and partners. In the meantime, the Club will use the names EE Football Team and Edmonton Football Team.

 

As the change has now been officially announced by the team, this topic is open for discussion. However, like the Washington NFL thread, it will be closely moderated. Official board policies remain in place, and any post that requires moderator intervention — including but not limited to racist comments, trolling and attempts to derail the thread — will be immediately reviewed for possible disciplinary action.

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Unlike Washington, this is much easier. 
 

change the name to something else with an E and no other changes are needed. 

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Respect to the team for acknowledging that the name was no longer appropriate. I'm hoping Elks becomes the new name, pretty much everything can stay that way. Edmonton has an advantage over Washington because the logos and uniforms were pretty distinct from the name, so replacing them becomes much easier.

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Good on Edmonton.  

 

They may have an easier time in not having to replace any of their existing elements, but that doesn't make this an easy decision.  Their name has roots deeper than either Washington's or Cleveland's.  It's hard to ask your fans to give that up.

 

Interesting also that they're a community-owned team.  That adds another level of people the team has to be responsive to.

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45 minutes ago, QCS said:

Respect to the team for acknowledging that the name was no longer appropriate. I'm hoping Elks becomes the new name, pretty much everything can stay that way. Edmonton has an advantage over Washington because the logos and uniforms were pretty distinct from the name, so replacing them becomes much easier.

 

Edmonton Elks sounds like it could have just as easily been around for 100 years, too. 

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I could be 100% wrong here, but isnt the plural of Elk, Elk?

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Realistically, all they would need to do is cover up the Eskimos wordmark and I guess the helmet bumper too.

 

trevor-harris.jpg

 

Like I said earlier in this thread, almost nothing about their branding, outside of the wordmark and I guess the polar bear mascot (which is a stretch), reflected the name "Eskimos".

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