Eskimos: change your name

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maxlion
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Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:40 am

The Mayor of Winnipeg has suggested that Edmonton change their name from "Eskimos" to something "more inclusive".

https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local ... 61833.html

He is absolutely right. It is outrageous, and a clear sign of the deep-seated systematic racism within this country, that a national professional sports team continues to use this name.

While the term "Eskimo" itself may not be inherently derogatory--its actual linguistic origins are not verified--there are two reasons why this name must be changed:

1. The term in question has been specifically rejected by the people it supposedly refers to. Its use in society is a holdover of colonial attitudes towards other peoples by which the colonial power reserves the right to "name" the colonized without regard to what they call themselves.
2. It is inappropriate to name a team after a caricature (derogatory or otherwise) of an ethnic group. It is the equivalent of calling a team "towelheads" or "dagos".

The team should consider what is gained by continuing to use an outdated, exclusionary term, and what might be gained by showing proper respect towards the inhabitants of this country.

maxlion
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Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:59 am

“The practice of naming teams after indigenous groups stems from a history of fetishizing indigenous people as noble savages, and of mocking the traditions and symbols of colonized peoples.”

http://ottawacitizen.com/storyline/citi ... -team-name

Natan Obed, the president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Canada’s national Inuit organization, called the name “outdated” and “derogatory” in a Globe and Mail opinion piece last November. “The Edmonton team name … was not chosen by Inuit,” he wrote. “And I reject any arguments that the name is benign and has positive intent to align the Edmonton football team culture with Inuit strength or spirit.”

http://nationalpost.com/sports/from-ind ... nd-courage

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Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:11 pm

Edmonton Seal Clubbers?

DanoT
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Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:17 pm

So I guess the REDBLACKS are due for a name change as well. :shock:

This entire issue, imo, is really about politicians trying to make a name for themselves including the Inuit politicians as I don't believe that the rank and file Inuit are offended or care what the Edmonton team calls itself.

As a Canadian, I retain my right to be offended by the name of the Vancouver NHL hockey team. :wink:

maxlion
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Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:38 pm

DanoT wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:17 pm
As a Canadian, I retain my right to be offended by the name of the Vancouver NHL hockey team. :wink:
The term canuck also has uncertain linguistic origins but is not commonly understood to refer to a particular ethnic group, and is not a term applied by a racist colonialist power to a colonized group without their consent or agreement. Your comparison is a red herring that masks the real issue. Canada has a long and regrettable history of mistreatment and disrespect towards native peoples. The Eskimos name is a lingering remnant of this heritage. What do you think is gained by keeping this name?

maxlion
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Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:40 pm

DanoT wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:17 pm
So I guess the REDBLACKS are due for a name change as well. :shock:
Not related at all.
http://ottawasun.com/2013/06/08/ottawa ... 4848298e3c

JohnnyMusso
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Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:12 pm

While you make valid points, I just do not see it happening well at least in the next few years.

The Washington Redskins have the same issue and I think their name is way worse, for Redskin is a racist term. Yet despite some pressure from some groups down there, they too refuse change the name.

Cleveland Indians have a similar issue, but the term Indian is still used sometimes by people in the US and Canada and by still some First Nation and Native Americans who refer to themselves as Indians, so I do not have a real problem with that name.

But to be honest, there is a little bit of political correctness going on here. Back when I grew up in the 60's, Eskimo was commonly used and the word appears in a Paul McCartney song and in a Dr Seuss story, maybe Cat in the Hat, do not remember. Then 20 years later terms like Eskimos, Negros, and Indians were considered outdated and new terms used. I personally feel that terms like Eskimos and Redskins should be changed, but if the teams refuse then so be it. I will not protest or boycott them as result. In general, most fans do not seem to care otherwise the names would have been changed by now.

DanoT
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Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:34 pm

I think the OP should take his concerns to the Eskimo Football Club and also post on Eskfans.com.

Huge Talent
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Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:46 pm

According to wiki, the term is still used and accepted in Alaska, however, is considered derogatory in Canada, replaced by Inuit.

If this is accurate, then it seems insensitive and is counter to the league's "diversity is our strength" position.

I'm a traditionalist, but I also believe in correcting mistakes. This is an opportunity for the team and the league to reveal where they really stand.

DanoT
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Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:03 pm

I would prefer if our politicians spent less time working on everything being politically correct and more time on doing something that actually benefits Inuits and others.

Huge Talent
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Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:13 pm

DanoT wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:03 pm
I would prefer if our politicians spent less time working on everything being politically correct and more time on doing something that actually benefits Inuits and others.
By definition, a politician should be "politically correct." Otherwise they are incorrect, quite literally.

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Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:23 pm

how about they change it to Europeans
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Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:44 pm

Many high schools and colleges have changed their names.

Pro sports teams? That is a much slower process, but possible. Fans do not want to let go, even when franchises die.

I think eventually the Cleveland Indians, the Washington Redskins and the Edmonton Eskimos will change their names.

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/04/28 ... 30748.html
The Huffington Post

How To Change A Racist Sports Team Name Near You

04/28/2015 10:05 EDT | Updated 04/29/2015 10:59 EDT

Joshua Ostroff  Former Senior Editor, HuffPost Canada

To say Ian Campeau has had an epic month is putting it mildly. The founding member of indigenous DJ crew A Tribe Called Red has spun records from the frozen tundra of Iqaluit to the steaming desert of Coachella. But back in his hometown of Ottawa, Campeau experienced a personally momentous moment after being recognized for convincing the Nepean Redskins youth football league to change their name to the Nepean Eagles.

"It was unexpected and completely humbling," Campeau, an Anishnabe (Ojibway) of the Nipissing First Nation, tells the Huffington Post Canada. He says the youth role model award he received at the Day of Pink gala is important because "[racist team names] are the most in-your-face socially acceptable systemic oppression within our society and yet it's used by children's football teams. It's not even a gateway drug for racism, it is racism."

Campeau began his "change the name" campaign back in 2011, amid growing backlash against indigenous sports team names and mascots that began in the 1960s but gained momentum after the Washington Redskins went to the Super Bowl in 1988 and 1992.

The number of native nicknames in school, youth and pro leagues peaked at well over 3,000 across North America. In 2005, the NCAA deemed 18 school names and mascots "hostile or abusive," but only banned the names in postseason games. And while Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder has remained fiercely opposed ("NEVER—you can use caps.") the team lost their trademark last year due to the "disparaging" name.

There has been much more success on a local level. The National Congress of American Indians stated in 2013 that "tribal advocates have succeeded in eliminating over two-thirds of derogatory Indian sports mascots and logos over the past 50 years" with fewer than 1000 remaining.

"People are definitely awakening to to the idea of how wrong it is. Slowly but surely the tide seem to have turned within the last three years," Campeau said, admitting he had to have his own awakening, too. "I grew up wearing all of it, Cleveland Indians stuff and Redskin stuff. I latched onto it because it was the only thing within pop culture that represented me. I latched onto it because I never really had much positive role models that represent my demographic."

But as a grown-up with his own child, he came to see how dehumanizing it can be. "It's being applied and normalized within society," he said.

"All these missing and murdered women, and these fires that are killing people all over the place, we're not seen as human beings right away. We're seen as cartoon characters. So until we're taken seriously and seen as human beings and not these ancient relics or ridiculous stereotypes, we won't be taken seriously for these quote-unquote more important issues. But to me this is of the most utmost importance.

"Suicide rates within indigenous communities are the highest in the world," he adds, "so perpetuating this idea of being less worthy is killing our kids."

When he first found out about the Nepean Redskins — a name the former Barrhaven Buccaneers chose in 1981 because they shared colours with the Washington team — Campeau fired off an email to the youth league's organizers explaining the situation. He figured that would be that. They never responded. When he took his campaign to their Facebook page, he was met with "extreme hostility."

Seeking help from his local city councillor, Jan Harder, also proved a dead-end. "You won't get it from me or anyone else I know," she emailed Campeau. "You are looking for trouble where none exists."

Around this time, however, Campeau's group A Tribe Called Red started getting some buzz, which gave the DJ-activist a social media soapbox he could use to get a conversation happening online to garner support. After all, he says, "you can't tell me it's not racist when it's specifically pointing out the color of someone's skin."

Then Campeau had an idea — he would file a complaint to the Ontario Human Rights Commission

"It turned out that I lived within the region where if my daughter wanted to play football, that would be the team that she would play for. The name was being normalized for children her age who lived with in our neighborhood — what's going to stop them from using it on her? The argument that the team had was that they were not teaching kids to use it in a bad way, but my point was that [Redskins] is a bad word no matter how you use it."

Filed on Sept. 3, 2013, the human rights complaint sparked a media blitz as the story went from regional to national, garnering coverage on CTV, CBC, the Globe & Mail, National Post and here at HuffPost Canada. It also inspired supportive editorials in cities like Sudbury.

After a couple years of obstinately insisting that the name Redskins "was never used in a racial way," management gave in just over two weeks after Campeau's complaint. Team president Steve Dean announced the franchise would change its name, acknowledging "the current name is offensive to some, and thus divisive to our community."

Though the human rights controversy pushed his campaign to the finish line, Campeau cites the power of social media as being the driving force behind his success.

"Social media is incredibly powerful especially within the indigenous communities. The reserve system is meant to keep us out of sight, out of mind. So now that we have social media we're able to criticize and have a voice on a level platform for the first time," he explained.

While also giving credit that his celebrity helped, Campeau says it merely accelerated the process and that others can replicate his success in their own communities.

"You don't need thousands of followers to get the job done. [But you do have] to arm yourself with as much knowledge as you can behind your cause. Get to know statistics, find research papers, back up what you're saying. It's really easy to present to a school board or the president of the league if you have the American Psychological Association telling you that these types of sports names are harmful."

(In 2005, the APA called for "the immediate retirement of all American Indian mascots, symbols, images and personalities by schools, colleges, universities, athletic teams and organizations...Research has shown that [it] has a negative effect on not only American Indian students but all students.")

Campeau notes that pushback — which got quite ugly on social media, talk radio, newspaper columns and Internet comment sections, including an online threat last January after the name change that required informing the police — is all from adults not the young players.

"These [kids] don't care the name of their team is going to be the Eagles. This tradition aspect is the only thing that people are holding onto, the only reason why people want to keep names like this. It's obviously the parents."

Campeau admits it's easier to convince grassroots local teams to change their names, of which plenty remain across Canada, rather than big money franchises like the Edmonton Eskimos, Washington Redskins or the Cleveland Indians, whose Chief Wahoo-adorned fans faced an angry protest at the home opener earlier this month.

"But you can multitask. They're not exclusive, you can challenge the use of native mascots anywhere."
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maxlion
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Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:53 pm

Invoking "political correctness" is usually intended as a criticism. What is there to criticize about showing respect to Inuit or First Nations people? This respect is long overdue. Eskimos franchise can earn goodwill across Canada by making this change. As it is, they are an embarrassment to the league. Time to change.

maxlion
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Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:54 pm

Huge Talent wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:46 pm

I'm a traditionalist, but I also believe in correcting mistakes. This is an opportunity for the team and the league to reveal where they really stand.
Exactly.

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