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EDMONTON — The Edmonton Eskimo Football Club Board of Directors has made the decision to discontinue the use of the word “Eskimo” in the team’s name.
The team released the following statement on Tuesday:
Since adopting the name over 100 years ago, our Club and its predecessor organizations have celebrated the hardiness and spirit of those who live in the north. The team’s values of community, integrity, respect and inclusion will not change with this decision.
— EE Football Team (@EdmontonEsks) July 21, 2020
Our Club launched an extensive research and engagement process on the name three years ago, with an emphasis on listening to Inuit communities. We undertook this comprehensive effort to meet our commitment and continue our tradition of being responsive to community perspectives. We augmented that outreach and research with more recent engagement and surveys involving Inuit, partners, season seat holders, casual ticket purchasers and the community at large. We are proud of this work and we intend to continue the Club’s efforts to strengthen our relationship with Inuit communities.
Recent findings demonstrate that views regarding the team name are shifting. While many fans are deeply committed to keeping the name, others are increasingly uncomfortable with the moniker. The long-term viability of the Club requires everyone to get behind this change and continue to support the team, especially during these challenging financial times. We are grateful for the backing of our partners and know that we can count on them to support us in making this difficult decision and helping us through the change.
“Our team has a long history of winning – both on and off the field – and we will continue to do so going forward,” said Janice Agrios, Chair of the Board of Directors. “We feel it is important to make this change in response to the findings of our recent engagement and research. Going forward, we want the focus to be on the work we do in the community and our team’s excellence on the field as the CFL’s most successful franchise.”
The Club will undertake a comprehensive engagement process on a new name. That process will include research and engagement with season seat holders, casual ticket purchasers and partners. In the meantime, the Club will use the names EE Football Team and Edmonton Football Team.