February 14, 2018 12:57 pm
Updated: February 14, 2018 3:40 pm

Edmonton Eskimos season ticket holders asked to weigh in on name change

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

Edmonton Eskimos season ticket holders are being asked to weigh in on the team’s name as part of a recent survey.

Those who received the survey were asked to weigh in on several topics including food and beverage, security and team performance.

READ MORE: What’s in a name? CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos team name hotly debated

They were also asked one question regarding a possible future name change for the team.

“Do you think the Edmonton Eskimos should consider changing their name in the future?”

Possible answers were “Yes,” “No” and “Don’t know.”

This question was posed to Edmonton Eskimos season ticket holders in a recent survey.

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Allan Watt with the Edmonton Eskimos said the survey is open until Feb. 18. As of Wednesday, the club had received more than 2,000 responses.

The results will be available to the Eskimos after the third week of April, Watt said.

“There are no deadlines of any kind with regard to our team name,” Watt said.

“We continue to advise and consult with people in the Inuit community and have been doing so for some time.”

The survey came as CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie was in Edmonton on Tuesday as part of a town hall visit with ticket holders. Ambrosie, who played for the Eskimos from 1989-93, was asked if he thought the team should change its name.

“My personal reflection has been that all the wonderful things that I’ve been privileged to do in my life and all the organizations I’ve had the pleasure of being associated with, I’m not sure there’s ever been one where I’ve been prouder of than being an Edmonton Eskimo,” he told reporters.

“I’ve never met a player that wasn’t proud when they came here, that wasn’t proud to be associated with the name. So all I feel when I think of the name is just pride and respect and honour.”

Ambrosie has been in conversation with the Eskimos organization about the team name and said they’re committed to talking to fans and those in the Inuit community for feedback on the hotly debated topic.

“What I would continue to advocate for is conversation,” the commissioner explained.

“We have to make sure that we’re having a thorough and thoughtful conversation. At the end of the day, it’s not so important what I think. I think what’s more important is we go through a good, healthy, very positive conversation and I think that will lead us to the right outcome.”

The team’s name once again came under the microscope this season, particularly when the mayors of Edmonton and Winnipeg mused about whether it’s time for a change.

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

Late last year, Global News spoke with the president of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Canada’s national Inuit organization, to help explain the reasons for changing the name.

Part of the issue, Natan Obed said, is using Indigenous peoples as mascots.

Obed said the word “Eskimo” is a term that was created by others and then applied to the Inuit people.

“And over the past 150 years or so, that term has been used in many ways to marginalize us. It’s been used as a term that is a racial epitaph and a slur,” Obed said.

Watch below: Natan Obed, president of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, explains why he thinks the Eskimos should change their name

We want to pose the same question to Global News readers. Weigh in on the topic in our poll below.


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