Winnipeg — The Toronto Blue Jays’ opponent in the American League Championship Series is reigniting an old debate in Winnipeg.
Many view the Cleveland Indians’ Chief Wahoo logo as offensive towards Indigenous people.
That includes Jacqueline Romanow, Indigenous studies chair at the University of Winnipeg.
She believes it’s time for teams such as the Cleveland Indians to change their name and logo.
“Times change and popular culture changes to reflect the times and our sports teams are just as much a part of popular culture as anything else,” she said.
The Neepawa Natives are a team in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.
“Ours derives from being native to the area … that was part of the original name of the team and Neepawa does come from a Cree heritage and as a respect to the community,” said Myles Cathcart, general manager of the Neepawa Natives when asked about his team’s name.
WATCH: Do the Cleveland Indians need a name change?
Romanow doesn’t think the branding of a sports team should include out-dated terminology and potentially offensive imagery even if paying tribute to Indigenous culture is the goal.
“This trivializes the lives and everything that Indigenous people are struggling for by turning them into kind of mascots and jokes,” she said.
“It has an effect of normalizing what are essentially racist caricatures of Indigenous people,” she continued.
An Indigenous activist’s application to have the Cleveland Indians’ name and logo banned while they play in Toronto was turned down by an Ontario judge Monday afternoon.