Eskimos state the team will not be changing their name


The Edmonton Eskimos released a statement Friday saying they will not be changing their name in the immediate future, due to the consultation process they undertook last year with Inuit communities.

“The Edmonton Eskimos conducted an extensive research and engagement program with Canada’s Inuit community regarding our team name. We announced the findings from that program several months ago, which included the fact that there was no consensus among Inuit people and considerable support for the Eskimos name among Inuit in various parts of northern Canada. We recognize that there has been an increased attention to the name recently and we will ramp up our ongoing engagement with the Inuit communities to assess their views.”

The statement comes in light of the NFL’s Washington Redskins announcing the team will “re-assess” their name following the withdrawal of prominent sponsors.

As CBC’s Devin Heroux reported, the results of the Eskimos research was not made public but showed considerable variation on how the name was interpreted both based on region and age.

Edmonton has long come under scrutiny for its team name, which is considered by many Inuit leaders to be offensive and a marker of colonialism. Most recently this issue was raised when Nunavut member of parliament Mumilaaq Qaqqaq called for Esks to change their team name following a team statement condemning racism in the wake of the George Floyd protests.