12% of Albertans say Edmonton Eskimos’ name is unacceptable: poll

A helmet belonging to a Edmonton Eskimos player is seen on the field during a team practice session in Winnipeg on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015. John Woods, The Canadian Press

A new poll released Thursday suggests the majority of Canadians and Albertans are OK with the Edmonton Eskimos‘ name and logo.

The poll, conducted by Insights West, found 57 per cent of Canadians find the football team’s name acceptable, while 21 per cent find it unacceptable. Twenty-three per cent of Canadians are undecided.

READ MORE: Expert says ‘meat-eater’ name Eskimo an offensive term placed on Inuit

Here in Alberta, the numbers suggest 12 per cent of people surveyed believe the name and logo of the Canadian Football League franchise are unacceptable. Seventy-one per cent of respondents said they find the name and logo acceptable, while 17 per cent are undecided.

Credit: Insights West

The poll comes one week after Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson suggested the Edmonton Eskimos consider changing the team name at the end of the CFL season.

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“When the position of the National Inuit Organization and its leader is that the term is considered derogatory by many of his people and by his national organization, I think that is difficult to not give serious weight to that feedback,” Iveson said.

READ MORE: Edmonton mayor calls for ‘conversation’ about Eskimos name change

The contentious debate flared up a day earlier when Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman was asked by reporters if he thought the Eskimos’ name was offensive.

“I think there’s an opportunity to have a more inclusive name,” said Bowman, who is Metis and the first Aboriginal mayor in Winnipeg’s history. “That’s ultimately a decision for the team though and I will obviously respect that.”

READ MORE: Winnipeg mayor says Edmonton CFL team could have more ‘inclusive’ name than Eskimos

The Edmonton Eskimos organization said it is always interested in hearing from the community.

“We use the Edmonton Eskimos name with pride and respect,” said a statement emailed to Global News last week. “If the mayor of Winnipeg has an opinion he’d like to share with us, he should do so.”

Insights West is a marketing research company based in Vancouver and Calgary. This survey was conducted between Oct. 24 and Oct. 26 and heard from 1,005 Canadian adults. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 percentage points for the entire sample, 19 times out of 20.

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With files from Phil Heidenreich, Kevin Jesus, Global News. 

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