Winnipeg mayor wants Eskimos to change name to more inclusive one

Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman thinks the CFL 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, said he respects the Edmonton CFL organization but would prefer a different name.

The Eskimos said in a statement that it uses the name with “pride and respect.”

:At this point in time, we are actively engaged in listening to the conversation that people are having around our name. Those conversations are ongoing and we are keenly listening to all input including from our loyal season seat holders and fans.”

The team also said if Bowman has an opinion he’d like to share with it, he should do so.

The Eskimos are facing the Blue Bombers in the CFL western semi-final on Saturday in Winnipeg.

It’s not the first time there have been calls for the Edmonton team to change its name.

Andre Talbot, the retired 2004 Grey Cup champion who played for the Toronto Argonauts but spent his final season in 2010 with Edmonton, said that changing the team name would be a small, but positive gesture.

“We have to honour the aboriginal communities of our great country and respect the fact that the name is deemed offensive and oppressive to these communities,” Talbot said in an interview in 2015.

“Sports organizations need to be community building organizations. And if we’re isolating and offending part of that community, then our particular organization or league is not doing its job.”

Natan Obed, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, which represents Canada’s 60,000 Inuit, said in 2015 that it wasn’t right for any team to be named after an ethnic group.

He called the term Eskimo a relic of a past in which Inuit people had no control over their lives or even what they were called. He said he would be offended if someone called him Eskimo.



55 Comments on Winnipeg mayor wants Eskimos to change name to more inclusive one

  1. Screw off

  2. Let’s call them the ESKS…
    Edmonton Sporting Kickers Society…

    • Geroy Burris // November 9, 2017 at 12:18 pm //

      With all the terrorism in the world today, I think the Bombers should change their name to one that is not associated with ISIS suicide bombers.

      • George Porge // November 9, 2017 at 3:39 pm //

        That would make more sense if they were the Black Bombers rather than the Blue Bombers.

  3. Just worry about City of Winnipeg, Bowman.

  4. Inclusive name? Mr. Bowman’s comments clearly aren’t well thought out in a number of ways. First some quick context. The Cleveland Indians offend not so much because of the name but because of the logo, which is an offensive caricature. Likewise the Washington Redskins offend because the name Redskin widely considered to be derogatory. The Florida State Seminoles, otoh, are not offensive because they sought and received approval for the name and logo from the local Seminole First Nations people. The Seminole people are honoured to have the Florida State teams named after them, in fact. An argument could be made that the Cleveland Indians should obtain permission from the local indigenous groups to use the name Indian, and that argument may well have merit, but either way the name “Indian” is not itself offensive. It is merely the old European name for indigenous North Americans. Remember that Europeans did this amongst themselves long before they did it here. Germans don’t call themselves Germans and Swedes don’t call themselves Swedes. Germans call themselves Deutsche, and they call their country Deutschland. If they said tomorrow that they would like us to start calling them Deutsche instead of German I think we should do it. They have a right to pick their own name after all. But doing that wouldn’t make the name German offensive, merely wrong, at least as it applies to the German people. Something similar to this happened in Canada. The indigenous people of the north said, “We don’t call ourselves Eskimos. We call ourselves Inuit, and we would like you to call us that.” And so now we do. The name Eskimo was never offensive. There was never an offensive connotation to it. Like German it was merely the English name for a group of people. And as applied to the football team, it was never a direct reference to the people. It was an indirect reference to people from the cold north, as I understand it. There were never any caricatures of Inuit people as far as I know. There was never any cultural appropriation. So the word, which was created by the English for their own purposes, once had two meanings, indigenous people from the North, and a football team in Edmonton. Then the Inuit said that they would rather be called Inuit instead of Eskimos – and I certainly understand and support that – so now the word only has one meaning, a football team in Edmonton.

  5. As a life long Eskimo fan I think it’s time to consider a name change. It was never meant to be offensive but times change. I would hate to loose the double-E logo though, which stylistically is one of the best in sports.

  6. Alex Droho // November 9, 2017 at 7:22 am //

    Enough of this politically correctness that basis itself on inclusiveness but actually promotes division. The mayor of Winnipeg should spend his time working for the betterment of the people of the Peg. In his spare time he can work on changing the name of the Bombers, who’s name might offend anti-war groups, to let’s say the Winnipeg Butterflies.

  7. I just don’t get all the nonsense about name change .There was nothing wrong with these names since the beginning of the league but now because of all the bs and whining it becomes an issue ,if I was an real life Eskimo I’d be soooo proud that my name is used on a professional logo ,it would be a great honour to be represented by one of the winningest teams in sport .I say leave it alone and be proud to be an ESKIMO

    • There is no group of people in Canada called the Eskimos, other than the football team. One of the problems with the old term Eskimo, as I understand it, was that it was a blanket term for people from the north, but it included a several distinct cultural groups, and I believe these groups didn’t always get along. Now we call each group by its own name, which is a better way to go.

  8. DiehardFan // November 9, 2017 at 8:13 am //

    All the Esks fans/fans in general ready to get their pitchforks and burn Bowman in effigy should realize that he was asked his opinion by a media member. It’s not like he got on a soapbox and stated spewing his wishes and admonishing the organization. If he doesn’t answer the question then he’s accused by the media of not being open and answering questions…catch 22. Plus seeing how he himself is indigenous I think he has a little more in the game then the average fan

    • His reply probably should of been NO COMMENT !!!!, I have real issues to deal with . IF that was the question he was asked.

  9. I agree enough of this political correctness bs…keep the Eskimos, Blackhawks ,Indians ect all the same

  10. The point is that some names are offensive and others are not. There are real principles at issue here. Unfortunately the mayor just threw out a trendy word, “inclusivity”, without understanding what he was talking about. The very nature of sports teams and names is to be exclusive, in a friendly way. Us vs. them. I can’t even imagine what an inclusive sport team name would be. And with respect to the real issue, some logos and names are offensive and others are not. There is a difference and if you’re genuinely concerned about the issue you take the time to find out which is which and why, but the mayor clearly has not done this.

    • The only inclusive team name I can think of is the team name of Greendale Community College from the TV Sitcom Community. The Greendale Human Beings.

  11. Paul Bomber // November 9, 2017 at 10:40 am //

    It’s a valid discussion that should be about more than marketing and branding. If you’re angry/outraged by the suggestion, that in and of itself might say something.
    As for Bowman, the guy is a unique combination of earnestness and dishonesty (he’s not corrupt, he just lies … a LOT).

  12. I hate political correctness. Unless a name is blatantly insulting to a particular group it should be left alone. You can take it to a ridiculous extreme. It could be argued these days that Bombers evokes images of terrorism. I drove through a construction zone the other day and a sign read: “Raised service hole covers.” Manhole covers offends extreme feminists. Has anyone ever seen a woman working in the sewer? Ridiculous.

  13. riderontheisland // November 9, 2017 at 11:39 am //

    Drop dead and get over it. Guess what I’m metis too and it doesn’t effect me a bit so go to hell with the over the top PC bullshit! It’s people like him that stir a pot that is calm and create something. I can’t stand people like that.

    • Well I wouldn’t want Mr. Bowman to drop dead that is a bit harsh , but I Do agree with your point of view Riders. I have found that most FNMI peoples I have met in my life are awesome folks , that offer a lot and I can learn much from them . I also have met a number of FNMI folks who are hugely emotionally flawed people that are rageful and nasty folks, unfortunately often these individuals have often found their way to political power in some way or another , they find ways to incite unrest and hatred between all the people of Canada and seemingly line their economic pockets along the way. AS for Mr. Bowman, perhaps he should focus his time on finding ways to solve the issues of urban poverty/drug abuse /crime for the FNMI people of his city before making political , statements on something as unimportant as a sports fanchise team nic name. OHHHH I get it Mr.Bowam if you focus on that important stuff something MIGHT get done for your people . More important to raise your profile with more radical FNMI leaders nationally so you can LINE Your pockets with a better JOB down the line !!!

    • So because it doesn’t affect you that’s it…

      Talk about self centred and selfish…you know there are other people in this world besides YOU….

  14. Good Gawd !!!!I am so sick of people finding something to whine about !!! To the mayor I say develop a sense of humor and relax, do your job and comment on civic political issues for pity sake .Following his line of thinking , Ottawa’s team can be perceived to be offensive to people of color , ie anyone who is black/ or possibly someone in NA who has both aboriginal and African American parents. Point two on this thought line , all teams using animal names and logos can be perceived as offending animal lovers, who speaks for all the lions, bears, dolphins, tigers, horses , etc that are offended that we people use their names for teams. AS pointed out perhaps the mayor should tell his own home town team to change their name , as we are living in times of great terrorist threats and as a peaceful nation and brokers of peace I as a Canadian am offended that we glorify war mongers and terrorists by calling a team the BOMBERS. AS you can see I now have my tounge firmly stuck out at Mr. Bowman. Once again here is a politician probably with his own deeply seated issues of hatred and mistrust beeking off and trying to stir the racism pot , Shame on you Mr. Bowman , crawl back under the rock you came from. Our society is sooooooooo screwed up now that the partially insane and mentally impoverished are running the country.

  15. I am sick of your whining, I am sick of your wanting special treatment. I am sick of people shoving native cards down my throat. If you are 1/2 native, then I am all for it. But this crap of being even less and get special treatment is a joke. I could easily go back and probably find out I am to, but I am not. I am Canadian. You want to call me racist, you better look in the mirror to see a actual racist. Time for all people to start carrying their weight in this country and quit the constant crying about being special.

    • riderontheisland // November 9, 2017 at 12:59 pm //

      You’re a racist and your stupid. I stand corrected, you are just an ignorant loud mouth, but still racist.

      • I’ve read your posts befor and they are always political BS.
        Glad you r on the island. Now go further away.

        • That”s how stupid you are I have only commented on here once before and I asked riderontheisland if he was in Victoria. There I just proved my comment you left wings nuts13 always making things up cause you got nothing better to do idiot

        • riderontheisland // November 9, 2017 at 3:02 pm //

          who helped you with the big words redneck…I mean Rick. Actually I have no idea what you are talking about and if you could read you might have read my earlier post which completely contradicts what you are saying. The only people that defend a racist is a racist, so good to know rickhead.

  16. Sorry for the quick second post , but I guess I misunderstood Mr. Bowmans position based on the article headline , as he just wants the Edmontons team name to be more inclusive. SO let me be the first to wish the newly branded Edmonton First Nations Metis Innuit’s ( FNMI’s )for short, as the former is a lot to print on a helmet, good luck against the Bombers this on Sunday . The Edmonton FNMI’s are certainly more inclusive and more politically correct them Edmontons first blunder of nic naming a team exclusively after the Dene/Innu peoples of northern Alberta/Saskatchewan/NWT/Nunivut, formerly misnamed the eskimoes. SO there you go Mr. Bowman the Edmonton team is now renamed to a more inclusive name HAPPY are you ??? Now all we have to do is rename that terribly offensive team in your city , hmmmm the BOMBERS— well that has to become what they are the TERRORISTS. Now that everyone is happy MR. Bowman , maybe you can do your JOB!!!!! as mayor , deal with the huge problem of marginalization of your FNMI people in YOUR !!! city —- work on solving real problems of poverty /drug addiction/ homelessness for the marginalized of your city , ie dosomething that matters , and NOT try to win political points stirring the RACISM pot. Man politicains like you Drive me NUTZZZZZZZZ!

  17. wow the politicaly correct are at it again, another leftist in full throttle, really mayor, how is winterpeg doing. you are a mayor, your not a king, your boss in ottawa thinks he is a king, but his day is coming. go back n act like a mayor.

  18. Sick and tired of this PC F____in BS
    You left wing nuts are the people ruining this world making something out of nothing trying to turn people against each other
    Don’t you have anything better to do
    Like get a life

    • Paul Bomber // November 9, 2017 at 2:58 pm //

      No… what’s ruining this world is extremism no matter where it comes from. The right and the left write each other off as nutbars and close their minds.
      But when I compare climate change denial, the American NRA, and modern day nazis to an annoying conversation about a sport’s team nick-name, I’m not sure it’s the left wing nuts I’m worried about. Just sayin’

  19. Paul bomber did I say it was about a sports team
    I am talking about in general JUST SAYIN’

    • Paul Bomber // November 9, 2017 at 3:50 pm //

      I got cha, dude. Not trying to disrespect you or your opinions. I hate paying taxes as much as the next guy. But when I look at the big picture, the right scares me more than the left.

    • Not to offend you Rider , but the Right wing has as many nutzzz as the left, IMO possible more and more harmful ones , think that is what Paul was trying to express

  20. George Porge // November 9, 2017 at 3:41 pm //

    Well, I’ll have to answer your question with another question. How many Abbadiginals do you see playing football?

    • What a unacceptably racist comment Racist comment George, your ignorance is glowing . Firstly not many FN youth are able to get tot he pro level in any sport not just football. Have you ever spent even 24 hours on actual isolated FN reserve, I have taught for about 7years on actual reserves and the poverty and conditions are appalling. Not many families have 2-6k a year per child to spend on developing a talented youths abilities by attending rep team camps/tournaments etc. And yes I know this as I taught Phy. Ed for the most part on those reserves and man some of those kids were 3 times more naturally talented then non aboriginal kids. I am not going to defend some of the decisions that FN families make regarding how the money they have/get is spent. Yes there s many and that is not for me to judge or comment on. What I do know is discrimination exists both ways , and its the KIDS that suffer and their athletic development is part of that suffering. So maybe if we figure out how towork together MORE as you say ‘Abbadiginals’ will get the opportunity to be a pro. What an offensive term you made Abbadiginals just shows how much of a piece of human trash you realy are you bigot.

      • George Porge // November 9, 2017 at 4:52 pm //

        Apparently you missed the context of my comment. Apparently the whole thing that prompted the mayor to even talk about the Eskimos’ team name was because one of those investigatory journalists threw him a softball question. You know, one of those “let’s ask a question that seems like I’m doing my homework and elicits a pretty predictable answer from a politician” questions. Like “what do you think of the opposing team’s name?”

        It’s always the same with those investigatory journalists. They always try to make a name for themselves, no mater how many friends they lose or how many people they leave dead and bloodied along the way – just so long as they can make a name for themselves, no matter how many friends they lose or how many people they leave dead and bloodied along the way…

  21. What’s this got to do with paying taxes
    I think you need to look at the big picture alittle harder

    • Rider , I think Paul was just commenting on the track that left wing politics is deemed to Spend more Tax dollars then Rightwing views on social programs etc, I believe it was myself how took the original shot at Mr. Bowman needing to look more toward solving social issues in his city , then making political statements about what logo is deemed racially insensative on pro teams helmet. My bad for bringing politics and social issues into the conversation

  22. Well getfit just sick of all the crying
    You can’t say or do anything anymore without getting criticized to death also you say politicians like him drive you nuts which would be the left yet then you basically say the right is more scary make up your mind

    • Rider , I don’t know if Mr. Bowman is a left or right bias politician , to me it frankly don’t matter , he is a fellow to me with a chip on his shoulder , who is angry at another race or people it sounds like and is just using his position of power to foster more racial hatred and tension rather then just doing his freaking job and trying to help solve the greater issue in his city like poverty/high crime rates/ gangs / substance abuse .
      I think that issues being brought forth such as NRA groups in the USA that state they are right wing politically scare me most. In any case a radical wing nut of any political stripe is equally scarey !!! Nutzzz is Nuttzzz , I tryb to be centrist as much as possible. .

  23. George porge don’t know who the hell you are talking to

  24. greenonions // November 9, 2017 at 5:15 pm //

    Not to downplay the issue but sports talk shows have been blowing up since Bowman brought it up. There are indigenous people who are proud of the name & some who find it disrespectful. I see Edmonton mayor Iveson chimed in with predictable comments. The fact is the politicos in Ottawa & the provinces mistake this for political action, effectively ignore the problems indigenous people face by wallpapering it over with money that solves nothing. As for Winnipeg, with all the bombings going on worldwide today, is it insensitive to victims of such tragedies? Why stop with one name?

  25. Dundas dude // November 9, 2017 at 5:22 pm //

    This identity politics stuff is not going to have a good outcome. Winnipeg’s Mayor should stick to trying to run his city, drop the divisive politics and feigned “outrage”. The Edmonton Eskimos are a tough, winning team and derogatory to no ethnic group.

    Can’t we just be individual people and drop this racist, divisive, identity politics nonsense, Mayor Bowman?

  26. antoine lussier // November 9, 2017 at 7:05 pm //

    I recall the late great NORMIE KWONG telling this story—while the 1955 ESKIMOS were practicing on a high school football field one day, 2 ladies watched– upon observing NORMIE she said to her friend: “See I told you they are real ESKIMOS!!!!!!!!” it has gone on for years

  27. For everyone outside of Winnipeg this is what Bowman does. He loves to grandstand and create his legacy projects. Get used to it. Next week I am sure he will make some stupid comment about how the Stampeders need to change their name because it is upsetting to Ranchers because the name relates to cattle and horse theft. And stop dumping on the Bombers for his “5 seconds of fame” comment. I’m pretty sure the Bomber organization even thinks his comment were unwarranted.

  28. Dundas dude // November 9, 2017 at 8:04 pm //

    I suggest anyone who thinks Mayor Bowman’s comments helpful, read these posts…it isn’t bringing people together but rather tearing us apart: Name calling, accusing one another of racism, etc ugly, ugly stuff.

    We’re all biased, but rather than play the phoney, holier than thou, race card we should cut each other some slack, lighten up, and foregive each other more. Peace out, Go Red Blacks ( now that the Cats are out).

  29. In the sport of Sailing the bowman is an individual whom you can trust to work alone, in occasionally difficult conditions yet who must work well with others in making important changes. The skilled bowman is revered and much sought after. He never creates tangled messes, he always knows where everything is at, he has tremendous anticipatory skills and he knows which way the wind blows. Out of respect to we bowmen everywhere, I demand that Winnipeg’s mayor change his name.

  30. cosmic cowboy // November 10, 2017 at 6:09 pm //

    Warren: Finally some great humorous intellectualism to counter most, but not all, of the prior comments from the non-intellect community.

  31. Wow, that’s a whole lot of anger over the name of a sports team. Not passion, just anger.

  32. Marc Antony // November 11, 2017 at 2:03 pm //

    Last Spring I joined OA (Offended Anonymous). It has changed my life. In six short months I have become the genderless, colourless, speechless, non-identifiable life form I always knew I could be. Whoever you are, whatever you are, wherever you are, I love you. Thank you.

  33. I am contemplating moving to Winnipeg now. Apparently life there os so perfect that the mayor has nothing to do but be critical of sports team’s nicknames.

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