March 6, 2014 8:48 pm
Updated: March 7, 2014 9:19 pm

Western Canada scraps ‘Redmen’ moniker

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CALGARY- Western Canada High School is changing the name and logo of its sports teams.

On Thursday, a decision was made to scrap the native-inspired “Redmen” moniker following months of discussions with the Calgary Board of Education.

“It is high time for us to move forward and transition for a new name to Western Canada,” said Calvin Davies of the Calgary Board of Education.

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Some people say the name as well as the logo, which features the head of a First Nations man, is an offensive misappropriation of aboriginal culture.

“Students know it has to change,” says Jackson McDonough, as student at Western Canada. “It sucks because we’ve been the Redmen. In no sense are we trying to be derogatory but totally understand where First Nations are coming from and honestly most of our school is behind this change.”

In 2004, Western Canada High School engaged with First Nations groups, students and parents about the name but at the time determined it wasn’t offensive and simply made a slight alteration to the feather in the team logo.

A decision on a new name and logo has yet to be made.

The ruling follows a recent decision by a Saskatchewan high school to change the name and logo of its sports teams, also dubbed the “Redmen.”

On Friday, the CBE released a statement on the review of local mascots and sports teams:

“The Calgary Board of Education is in the process of examining our school names, mascots and logos. We are committed to supporting changes to ensure that schools and the CBE system respect and reflect the diversity of our students, our communities and our city, including First Nations, Métis and Inuit people.

Currently, area directors and principals are undergoing these discussions to ensure we are fully respectful of all the cultures that make up the Calgary community. These conversations are at various stages and involve a variety of stakeholders including students, parents, school community members and elders on our CBE Aboriginal/Elder Advisory Council.

Western Canada High School has made the decision to transition to a different name. Other schools within our system are beginning to examine their names.

Approaches for the selection and implementation of a possible new name at any school will honour the traditions of that school and the interests of all concerned stakeholders.”

© 2014 Shaw Media

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