Some Inuit Are Asking the Edmonton Eskimos to Change the Name

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami President Natan Obed is asking the Edmonton Eskimos to change their name to respect the Inuit people.

Obed says “mainstream society’s use of Indigenous peoples as mascot for their entertainment is a holdover from Canada’s colonial past, and reveals a lingering sign of disrespect for Inuit and others.”

CKLB reached out to Inuit in Cambridge Bay, and asked them how they feel about Edmonton’s football name.

An elder from Cambridge Bay, who wanted to remain unnamed, said he first heard the word Eskimo when he was in residential school.

The elder told CKLB “I first heard that when the nuns were yelling at me. They would call me a dirty little Eskimo.”

A 27 year old male, who also wanted to remain unnamed, feels the name does not disrespect his heritage.

He says “When I travel around the world, people ask me what is my heritage, some people think I’m Asian. When I tell them I am Inuit, they don’t know what that is, then I tell them Eskimo, then they understand.”

Most people that CKLB have talked to that are younger and did not go to residential school had no problem with the name.

But the older crowd that went through residential school said they do not call themselves Eskimos. They say “we are Inuit.”

Andre Talbot pic

Andre Talbot

Ex CFL player, Grey Cup winner, talks to CKLB about Eskimos name.

 

 

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Mark Hadlari

CKLB News Reporter/Host