Alberta premier says Eskimos ‘need to have conversation’ about changing name

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says the Edmonton Eskimos should lead a discussion about changing the CFL team’s nickname – one that some consider offensive.

In an interview with The Canadian Press, Notley says it would show good leadership for the franchise to engage the community – including Indigenous people – in the conversation.

Notley adds that while she won’t tell the team what to do, she would like to hear what people have to say about the issue.

Many consider the word Eskimo a slur, or at least an uncomfortable vestige of colonialism for Inuit people.

There have been periodic calls in recent years for the Edmonton team to change its name.

The team said this month it was keenly listening to all input, including from loyal season ticket holders and other fans.

– CP


115 Comments on Alberta premier says Eskimos ‘need to have conversation’ about changing name

  1. Flutiegarcia // November 22, 2017 at 3:10 pm //

    No Rachel, whats needed is a conversation to change you!!!!!!!!

  2. “Need to have conversation” too often seems to translate to “you’re going to listen to my opinion and you’d better agree with it”.

    • Flutiegarcia // November 22, 2017 at 3:20 pm //

      lol yeah exactly CC Rider, she totally contradicts herself……this is the result of electing anti business ,pro tax and pro social justice leftist people like her. Scary this is Trudeau might very well make it illegal to even say the word Eskimo!

    • “need to have a conversation” sounds like one of Justin’s just like “we need to engage with Canadians”
      We need some straight talking non-politicians to run this country.
      “Make Alberta great again” – ditch the bitch

  3. Need a conversation of how you destroyed a great Province.

    • Flutiegarcia // November 22, 2017 at 3:23 pm //

      Yep. It was great once!

    • Paul Bomber // November 22, 2017 at 5:17 pm //

      40 years of Cons mismanaging their surpluses and the price of oil going from $150 to $50 a barrel and it’s all on the NDP? I’m not waving their flag (I wouldn’t vote NDP in Mb, fyi), but to blame EVERYTHING on the NDP is just plain silly.

      • Agreed. The old boys club ruined it. She just did nothing to fix it.
        But…HOe did this thread get on to politics?
        Oh yes, we were discussing things Rachel does not know anything about.

      • Disagree, you have to make Alberta an attractive place to invest. With oil prices lower you do NOT raise taxes and spending.
        The NDP would not be the NDP if they didn’t raise taxes or cut spending.
        Foreign investors don’t see Alberta as a good place to invest right now and that is all on the NDP
        But people wanted change, just like in Ottawa, we give another party a chance.
        When the Libs and NDP talk about “change” they didn’t mean change for the better.
        Looks like Trump has thrown Notley a lifeline with his push for the Keystone pipeline

  4. That women is totally out to lunch
    With all the people out of work and all the other horrible things going on right now and she is worried about this dumb crap

  5. pantsonfire // November 22, 2017 at 3:30 pm //

    Maybe Rachel can take the “Democratic” out of NDP. I don’t know about you but that offends me so it has to go. I’m afraid if another horse falls down in the chuckwagon races, Rachel is going to want another team in Alberta to change their name.

  6. Where is the slur? Good grief, has anyone, anywhere ever sneered at someone and said Eskimo in a bad way? Welcome to 2017 where everyone is offended all the time!

  7. BigRedMachine // November 22, 2017 at 3:50 pm //

    I’ve never considered the name Eskimo to be racist or offensive in any way. Today they are known as Inuit but tomorrow maybe that word becomes offensive to some.

    • Absolute joke. Rachel plummets with most regarding comments like that. Shame on her!!!

    • Exactly. Like Black people. When I was a kid they were called Negro, then Black, then People of colour (gotta love that like they are rainbow coloured), then coloured people, and now, the least accurate for 90% (or whatever %)…African American ?!?!?!?! What’s more offensive is to keep changing what we call them and make them feel like crap.

      • I’ve never understood why “coloured” is wrong but “of colour” is perfectly acceptable (at least for now). I truly don’t see much of a distinction there.

        Sorry to whomever I’ve offended THIS time.

        • PINKGRAYS

        • In the US this issue is incredibly loaded by hundreds of years of slavery and Jim Crow laws, and the meaning of a term is entirely based on how it was used historically. “Boy” seems like an innocuous term but in certain contexts if you call a black, male, American a “boy” it might be construed as extremely racist. Words like negro and coloured in the American context I don’t understand either but it’s heavily influenced by history and evolution of a sort. As black people became more empowered they decided that they preferred certain terms to others, so some that were not really offensive but also not preferred for some historical reason were out and others were in.

  8. Good gosh, political correctness morons, leave Eskimos the way it is. Political correctness is all about tearing down history and tradition. Is Canada not proud of its history??? Is that what Canada and the socialites are all about? Get over it, Rachel!!! And Trudeau as well!!!

  9. I would support them changing the name to Crackers. As a Cracker this name offends me in no way whatsoever.

  10. As a Canadian with English, Irish, German and Hungarian ancestry, I would also support : Limeys, Micks, Squareheads, or Gypsys. All great team names.

    • instead of “esks” lets go with “ukes” sounds alike, short for Ukrainians. The up side is more Saskatchewan people that have moved to Edmonton will find a reason to cheer for the Ukes instead of the Riders. Win win for edmonton! NDP saves the day… for the first time ever!

  11. this woman is nuts…

  12. Great comments guys. It’s really illuminating that white people on message boards are totally not offended by racial stereotypes. I’d like to hear more from the Inuit community on this though since, you know, they’re the ones being insulted.

    • Whatever happened to the dumb Ukranian joke? I’m part Ukranian. Lived with it, laughed at it.

      • Alex Droho // November 23, 2017 at 8:40 am //

        I don’t take any offence to a team called the Ukes either and it’s part of my ethnic heritage.

    • Dundas dude // November 22, 2017 at 4:38 pm //

      “white people on the message boards” ….what time is this 1950’s Mississippi? Can’t we just be people, what does being “white” have to do with anything? Can we not have an opinion because we are “white”. This identity politics stuff is bad news and is opening old wounds. Let’s not let the Premier play the race card and tear us apart for her cheap political points.

    • How do you know all the people commenting so far are NOT (insert your favourite term here) ?

    • Jon. Good point.

    • I’m green. Don’t insult me.

  13. Lions and Tiger cats are both dangerous animals. Bombers are instruments of terror, don’t even get me started on Argonauts. What is an Alouette anyway? Whatever it is I’m sure it makes someone feel unsafe.


      • Christians used to be fed to lions. I’m offended by the name on behalf of Christian people, since I’m not one myself. You disagree with me, therefore you are clearly a bastard.

        I’m glad that’s settled. This has been a productive day so far. Fabricated social justice is fun! And it makes me feel good inside!

        • Lol! Funny, but you’re making exactly the right point. If people don’t take the time to look into the issue and understand where the real offenses are and are’t then they are just exploiting the issue for their own purposes. And this kind of think just makes a mockery out of the issue as a whole.

    • Alouette is the name of a Canadian regiment that protects this country. The team was named as a tribute for this regiment after the WWII. Since nobody on this planet fears the Canadian army, nobody feels unsafe about that name, especially the other CFL teams.

      • Mudnyereye // November 28, 2017 at 2:03 pm //

        Alouette is also a bird. Specifically, a family of bird species known as larks. I’m sure it offends someone somewhere.

  14. Dundas dude // November 22, 2017 at 4:28 pm //

    As an NDPer, she is completely ignorant of the business value and goodwill associated with such a successful franchise as the Edmonton Eskimos. Also, as she destroys Alberta’s economy she is eager to try and divert voters attention to issues like this. Hopefully Albertans vote this divisive and economically ignorant premier out in 2019.

  15. Come to think of it Roughriders and Stampeders are very coarse names as well.

  16. Ok I’ve got it, starting from the West Coast.
    The BC 420
    The Calgary Petroleum Queens
    The Edmonton Northern Lights
    The Saskatchewan Gluten Producers
    The Winnipeg Windy Intersections
    The Ottawa Inclusive Cashmere
    The Hamilton Basket of Kittens
    The Montreal Bilinguals
    The Toronto Wine and Cheese Plates
    And coming soon:
    The Halifax Fish Oil

    • Lancaster/Reed // November 22, 2017 at 5:22 pm //

      Queens could be misconstrued. People are alergic to kitten fur, gluten allergies, cashmere is made from wool ( those poor naked sheep). Im sorry but the PC police have spoken. Try again.

  17. We NEED Rachel Notley to get reelected. God help us if a dinosaur like Jason Kenney ever gets in – but thankfully I don’t think he’s electable in Alberta today. We’d go back to being an international laughing stock and pariah. The European’s would go back to passing laws against our “dirty oil”. Notley is the only one who has fought back. Harper and Redford merely whimpered and cowered, too impotent to even speak truth to lies.

    That said, it sounds to me like she may be wrong on this one, although all she has really said is that there needs to be a discussion. But again, she is a doer as opposed to the do nothing types, so maybe she really does mean that there needs to be a discussion, at which point she and others would find out that the name Eskimo isn’t offensive and has nothing to do with colonialism. The English people who created the term, and many Europeans in general, made up their own names for other people. The English called the Germans Germans, and the Swedes Swedes. Neither of these two groups call themselves these names, and neither German nor Sweden was ever a colony of England, so to repeat this has nothing to do with colonialism. The indigenous people of the north decided that they would rather we call them by the names they call themselves, Inuit, Inuvialuit, etc. and this makes perfect sense to me. Frankly I think the Germans and Swedes should do the same thing. But doing this does not somehow make the old name offensive, merely wrong, at least as it pertains to these people. The name as it relates to the football team was never offensive and I don’t believe it was even a direct reference. There were never any caricatures that I know of – unlike the Cleveland Indian – or any cultural appropriation. My understanding is that it was an indirect reference to being people, a team, from the frozen north. And now that’s all it refers to, a football team, so it’s clearly not offensive to northern indigenous people. It is no longer a term that refers to them at all.

    • Lancaster/Reed // November 22, 2017 at 5:18 pm //

      I was waiting for the puchline about needing notley re-elected. Did i miss it somehow? Is there sarcasm there im not reading?

      • You live in Sask, right? I come from Sask. but I’ve lived in Alberta for many years. Notley is a centrist and by far the most competent leader we’ve had here in a long time. There isn’t a big ideological difference between the old PCs and the current NDP, but the old PCs were very stale and more than a little corrupt. Not corrupt like Grant Devine’s government but still enough so that people had had enough. The Wild Rose Party, and now the UCP under Kenney, is a far right wing anachronism. I’m sure Preston Manning is a fan but that old extreme right wing mentality is a dying breed. The former PCs are abandoning the UCP in droves and it looks like their going to reform in the Alberta Party. I think it’s too soon for them to get their act together for the next election but after that they could be a viable alternative to the NDP, a centre right alternative to the NDP’s centre left. Meanwhile Kenney and the UCP are becoming the new Wild Rose Party, and they will be as marginalized on the extreme right wing as the WRP was.

        • Dundas dude // November 22, 2017 at 5:59 pm //

          With political analysis of this quality, are you picking the Alouettes to win the Cup this Sunday?

        • Alex Droho // November 22, 2017 at 6:22 pm //

          Ms Notely: Please stop trolling this board as RFD. This is about the CFL not your re-election.

        • Flutiegarcia // November 22, 2017 at 6:23 pm //

          I agree with you in many ways. To date she has been fairly centrist at least in her economic views. However she has been treading lightly. If she gets elected again she will realize she has the millennial vote for years! Watch out then!.
          Remember she was COMPLETELY against oil sands development as the third or forth party in the legislator. Her and the parties true colors will start to show.

          • I have to admit that I didn’t follow the Alberta NDP all that closely before the last election, although growing up in Saskatchewan I’m very familiar with the Sask NDP. In general the prairie NDP parties, which represent the original and true values of the NDP, are very different than the federal and BC branches, to the point where I wonder if there may be a split in the not too distant future. The oilsands are exactly the kind of thing that prairie NDP types would and do support. They have essentially zero impact on global warming – and I trust everyone knows that and I don’t need to explain why. The open pit part isn’t great but what you do to compensate is you reclaim the land, and you do it properly. They also recognize that the economic part is extremely important. Tommy Douglas was the father of Medicare but it took the NDP something like 15 years to implement it, and the reason was that Douglas and his contemporaries understood that money doesn’t grow on trees. They knew that they had to focus on building up the economy so that there would be enough revenue coming in to fund programs like Medicare. Today the prairie NDP types understand that the world will using oil for a long time, and as long as it is the best place to be getting it from is Canada, and not places like Venezuela, Angola, and other OPEC countries. They also understand that over 1500 First Nations people at the peak were employed directing by the oilsands, and many more indirectly. The BC and federal NDP types, otoh, are superficial and foolish, jumping on any media trend and being duped by the big dollar “dirty oil” campaign – which I think is likely being funded by OPEC although some recent reports suggest that it might be Russia – but their positions fall apart with even basic analysis. Mulcair was a disaster and sadly it looks like the new guy isn’t any wiser.

        • Mahmoud Ali // November 27, 2017 at 7:44 pm //

          RFD, your observations are very true. Few people remember that after Peter Lougheed was elected he had a royalty review, and with the price of oil increasing rapidy was able to increase royalty rates. Loughedd said Albertan’s are the owners of the resource and should get a fair share. People forget but he was banned from the Petroleum Club in Calgary. People also questioned Lougheed’s conservative credentials when he acquired Pacific Western Airlines in order to ensure that air service to the northern communities would be maintained. Lougheed initiated the idea of a resource fund (Heritage Savings Fund) that later inspired Norway. Later on, Lougheed was opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline because he believed that Albertans should have the processing and refining jobs instead of exporting them down a pipeline. Lougheed also built a large civil service because he believed that Alberta should have an able and competent civil service that could plan and guide the province over the long term. If anything Rachel Notley is closer to Lougheed than any other conservative premier, with the possible exception of Don Getty (though Ron Ghitter would have been a better choice), and had the price of oil been higher would not have been subject to the kind of wholesale criticism.

          Alberta’s so-called heir to the conservatives, Jason Kenny, when commenting about Klein’s deficit-cutting savaging of Alberta’s economy back in 1999 said this: “Klein realized Alberta could no longer afford the neo-Stalinist make-work projects of the Lougheed and Getty years, and he set about to distance himself from them.” Implicit in Kenny’s comment is that the approach of Notley in not slashing jobs and services is akin to Lougheed/Getty approach. Hypocritcally, Kenny is now trying to link himself with Lougheed.

    • seriously? you need Notley? please tell me you’re a 26 year old photographer, graphic designer, or social media consultant living with you parents and you just haven’t experience paying real taxes or getting up before 11 am for work yet.

  18. Kick the crazy socialists out – please Alberta

  19. She should pay attention to more important things than a football team name .Also please send the woman a hair brush it obvious she doesnt own one

  20. Flutiegarcia // November 22, 2017 at 5:39 pm //

    Listening to this woman speak is frustrating. Her and Trudeau could start a choir. Errrrr ah mmm er ahhhh …….such lousy speakers!!!

  21. I don’t live in Alberta so I won’t comment on the AB politics, but Notley’s simply right on this. The word Eskimo is marginally better than Redskin and most reasonable people acknowledge that there is little merit to any defence of that name by the NFL and Snyder.

    Why should the CFL be immune for a name which carries a similar connotation about the Inuit that Redskin carries about native Americans? The term consider is considered derogatory because it was widely used by racist, non-native colonizers among other meanings (barbarians as eaters of raw meat and excommunicated ones as non-Christians).

    The name needs to change and the team (and CFL) should be progressive on the issue instead of doing their best Daniel Snyder imitation. He’s a repugnant excuse of a human being and the team should be wary of being perceived the same.

    • The problem with your argument is that there is no connection between the words Eskimo and Redskin. Watch any old western and you’ll probably find the word Redskin used as a pejorative. The analogous word to Eskimo would be Indian, which is itself also not offensive, merely wrong. Columbus thought he had reached India, but he was wrong.

    • Why don’t the Inuit people start a petition for Inuit people “only” and send it to the Edmonton Eskimos organization and CC: The CFL, Rachel Notley and Trudeau with their petition of so many names required to press politicans? Personally, I think it’s an absolute shame. And I’ll bet my top dollar most of the Inuit people could care less besides ruining tradition, history and fabric of the Edmonton Eskimos organization and the CFL. This political correctness is absolute crap. As above, I mentioned my heritage and we joked about it as kids and adults. This socialism and bleeding heart crap is pure garbage, and an absolute waste of time and money.

  22. Whaaaa!!!!! OK, then I have no problem with the Edmonton Inuit – EI, would look good on the helmut – by the way as a scot ( from DNA only ) I am offended when I hear bagpipes because of their cultural appropriation.

  23. As a diehard Ottawa football fan, I’ve endured two team nickname changes. Wisely they kept the colours and graphics similar. It took me a while to accept RedBlacks as a name, but now it’s okay. Do
    the right thing, Edmonton. You have a great tradition there. It can easily endure a change to the nickname.

    • I hate the RedBlacks name to this day, but I deal.

      Edmonton, really, could simply adopt “Empire” full time. It would take a little getting used to but the logo doesn’t need to change.

      Maybe not the “evil” part though. That’s probably offensive too and besides, we all now it anyway. 😉

    • greenenvy? // November 22, 2017 at 9:46 pm //

      You see no way Red Blacks could have negative connotations?

    • I still can’t consider “Redblacks” anything other than inane. The French “Rouge et Noir” would be fine in English as “Red and Black”, like how Alabama is the “Crimson Tide”. Moreover, I refuse to use all-caps when typing their name like the CFL website does. It’s a crappy marketing gimmick and needs to be binned for crimes against good taste.

  24. In an interesting parallel there was a survey just completed in the US asking native Americans whether or not they found the name of the Washington Redskins offensive. Some 90% of respondents indicated it was not offensive to them.

  25. Oh my God. This is what the premier of Alberta needs to worry about. Unbelievable. When I was on high school my team was called the Crusaders. Now if history is correct the crusaders were a bunch of murderers that killed anyone that wasn’t Christian. Nothing wrong with that name. Lol. But the Edmonton Eskimos. Terrible! Good Lord. It’s a football team. A team with rich tradition. I think history is important. Lately I here that we have to remove Sir John A Macdonald from school names . What a crock! This country is so full of leftist granola crunchers. Go Eskimos I say. Love the name. If there is a name I hate it’s Rachel! Lol

  26. Who is this woman and why is she wearing a halloween costume?

  27. Dud no one hear the Inuit leader when the Winnipeg mayor raises this: he said, “concentrate on real issues”. My niece is Inuit… She and her son considered this an honour. The mascots are not derogatory of the Inuit. The organization is first class. What is the world coming to? Next someone will require curling to change the name of the Scotties. Then we will have to change the name of Canada since it is a variation on an Aboriginal word. And what about Saskatchewan? And British Columbia, my goodness there are next to no Britt left and those that are, talk funny. And as a relative of a military person, I’m offended by the mascots of the Blue Bombers. And as a former teacher (for a year when I was younger) the term RedBlacks is non-sensical… And Maple Leafs need to be corrected to Maple Leaves… And what about gender balance?

    • greenonions // November 22, 2017 at 9:50 pm //

      Don’t worry Glenn. They’ll get around to it. Political correctness doesn’t tolerate common sense.

  28. Stop the world I want to get off!

  29. They should either be called “The Lesbians” or the “Transgenders” or the LGBTQQIP2SAA’rs because those are the most politically correct terms in society. They could add a few more colours to Commonwealth Stadium and they would sell 60,000 seats every game. Notley would likely pay ever ones admission to (if you’re a card carrying NDP anyway). Can anyone think of a more politically correct name to call them?

    • OK, jizzy John. How about the Edmonton:
      Cocky CONS?
      Harper Herpes?
      Trans Tories?
      Wild Rose Willies?
      A-hole Albertans?

      The best one is the Alberta Polar Bears, with many apologizes to the University of Alberta Golden Bears. Since the Esks stole the uniforms why not steal the name too?

  30. justforkicks // November 22, 2017 at 10:21 pm //

    So if you drive a Jeep Cherokee are you violating something or someone and will she disallow licensing of them in AB?

    • Well said…
      And does an Infinity offend the religious?
      Or does a Ram imply sexual predation?
      Or Land Rover go against Mother Earth and my dog?

    • You know Jeep no longer uses tribal designations for new model names? They call their vehicles things like patriot, liberty, renegade, commander, compass, etc. Cherokee was grandfathered in. Comanche is no longer produced.

  31. Red&White Forever // November 22, 2017 at 10:48 pm //

    Wow. Disappointed in you guys. Letting your personal opinions on politics/economics cloud your vision of what is right or wrong. Forget how you feel personally about Notley, her party, or her politics here (and I’m not defending her, but this isn’t about “how the province is doing”, this is about right and wrong), but she is RIGHT. Eskimos is a racial slur. Period.

    • Not according to my Inuit niece…

    • If it is a slur, why was it used in the first place? People USE words in negative ways and MAKE then slurs. Did you know the idiot, moron and imbecile were actually classifications for mental deficiencies? Moron denoted a mild deficiency, imbecile, a moderate deficiency and idiot, a severe deficiency. Because of how people used these words, they BECAME defamatory, just like the word that replaces the retarded (which simply means slow). Like suggested elsewhere in the thread, whatever word we come up with will too, soon, BECOME derogatory.
      You people need to give your head a shake. The word is not derogatory, the people who misuse them are.

      • Red&White Forever // November 22, 2017 at 11:46 pm //

        Right. I can think of a number of racial terms that USED to be okay to describe people, but aren’t anymore. Doesn’t make them any less derogatory or racist NOW.

        • WRONG. They are NOT derogatory NOW, to repeat myself. The meaning people ATTACH to the word is derogatory.

  32. hey red & white why don’t you add blue to that and move south! Where does it stop? I’m Dutch, dutchie doesn’t offended me! I certainly could careless about her political position but she is using that position of power to make a point we don’t need to hear. If the Inuit’s have a problem with Eskimo then they will say something! Christ the world is going down the fricken toilet.

  33. Ditchbanger // November 22, 2017 at 11:22 pm //

    The Edmonton Inuit

    Problem solved

  34. Red&White Forever // November 23, 2017 at 12:04 am //

    Just call them the “Evil…”, I mean “Edmonton Empire” and be done with it. None of the current double “E” logos or the colours need to be changed. Problem solved.

  35. The 13th Rider // November 23, 2017 at 12:30 am //

    I think they should be called the EskiMaas, therefore the name will be indicative of the decision for eternity!

  36. Just a thought

    Wonder if Nutley will be sitting with Jihad Justin at the Grey Cup ?

  37. Sensitivity has become the issue here. Too many people are “offeneded” these days.

  38. How about the “Edmonton Everybodies”. Take a pill Notley!

  39. What would be your position if the team’s name was “Niggers”?

  40. Raptor get off this site you sh_t disturber
    Take your crappie raptor basketball with you and shove it

  41. yes ditch the eskimo name then ditch the team full of arrogant pricks

  42. Dear Rachel: Get lost. Go try doing something useful like lowering the unemployment rate. Oh, by the way, Canadian football is that game played with a pointed prolate spheroid ball, just in case you were wondering.

  43. Rachel notley you are Offensive to all Albertans. Stick to what you were elected to do and zip it!

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