Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says the Edmonton Eskimos should lead a discussion about changing the CFL team’s nickname — one that some consider offensive.
In an interview with The Canadian Press, Notley says it would show good leadership for the franchise to engage the community — including Indigenous people — in the conversation.
Notley adds that while she won’t tell the team what to do, she would like to hear what people have to say about the issue.
Many consider the word Eskimo a slur, or at least an uncomfortable vestige of colonialism for Inuit people.
There have been periodic calls in recent years for the Edmonton team to change its name.
The team said this month it was keenly listening to all input, including from loyal season ticket holders and other fans.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also weighed in on the name on Wednesday.
“Obviously, that’s a part of reconciliation — listening to concerns and understanding what habits of the past need to change,” he said when asked about the issue.
“This is a discussion and a reflection that the City of Edmonton certainly needs to undertake,” Trudeau said.
“Reconciliation is not just about Indigenous people and the government; it’s about all of us as Canadians, non-Indigenous as well, and I think that’s a really important discussion to have.”
Watch below: A leader in the Inuit community says the Edmonton Eskimos’ team name is racist.
— With files from Global News