Edmonton discontinues use of the word ‘Eskimo’ in team’s name

Photo courtesy: Edmonton Football Team

The Edmonton Eskimo Football Club board of directors has made the decision to discontinue the use of the word “Eskimo” in the team’s name.

Since adopting the name over 100 years ago, the club and its predecessor organizations have celebrated the hardiness and spirit of those who live in the north. The team’s values of community, integrity, respect and inclusion will not change with this decision.

Edmonton launched an extensive research and engagement process on the name three years ago, with an emphasis on listening to Inuit communities. The franchise undertook this comprehensive effort to meet our commitment and continue our tradition of being responsive to community perspectives. Edmonton augmented that outreach and research with more recent engagement and surveys involving Inuit, partners, season seat holders, casual ticket purchasers and the community at large. The club is proud of this work and intend to continue the its efforts to strengthen the relationship with Inuit communities.

Recent findings demonstrate that views regarding the team name are shifting. While many fans are deeply committed to keeping the name, others are increasingly uncomfortable with the moniker. The long-term viability of the club requires everyone to get behind this change and continue to support the team, especially during these challenging financial times. The franchise is grateful for the backing of its partners and know that it can count on them to support in making this difficult decision and helping through the change.

“Our team has a long history of winning – both on and off the field – and we will continue to do so going forward,” Janice Agrios, chair of the board of directors, said in a statement.

“We feel it is important to make this change in response to the findings of our recent engagement and research. Going forward, we want the focus to be on the work we do in the community and our team’s excellence on the field as the CFL’s most successful franchise.”

The club will undertake a comprehensive engagement process on a new name. That process will include research and engagement with season seat holders, casual ticket purchasers and partners. In the meantime, the club will use the names EE Football Team and Edmonton Football Team.