Montreal’s McGill University has dropped the Redmen name for its sports teams, effective immediately.
According to published reports, the school’s principal said in a statement Friday that the Redmen name has caused pain and alienation for Indigenous students at the university.
Even though the name was not initially adopted as a reference to Indigenous peoples, that association was made in the 1950s when men’s and women’s teams came to be nicknamed the “Indians” and “Squaws.”
Some teams later adopted a logo with an Indigenous man wearing a headdress.
The principal says that today ‘Redmen’ is widely acknowledged as an offensive term for Indigenous peoples, as evidenced by major English dictionaries.
She adds that While this derogatory meaning of the word does not reflect the beliefs of generations of McGill athletes who have proudly competed wearing the university’s colours, university officials cannot ignore this contemporary understanding.