Published Jul 06, 2020Edmonton's professional football team is one of several major league sports teams under heavy scrutiny for having a name that appropriates Indigenous iconography and outdated nomenclature. Following the team's latest statement about the name on July 3, thousands of people have launched complaints against the CFL team, including some prominent Canadian musicians.
Tanya Tagaq, who's been posting against the team's name since at least 2016, responded to their latest statement in a tweet criticizing the lack of transparency behind their consultation process. She wrote, "Who did they consult? It's be good to see names/numbers/anything but their statement. Also they are nowhere near Inuit lands I believe they are in Dene/Cree territory. Not that it would be ok to name it after them either."
The latter point responds directly to a statement by Janice Agrios, chair of the team's board of directors, who said, "We are the CFL's most northern team and we want to continue to build our relationship with the Inuit community. This is a very important initiative for us."
Another prominent Canadian artist speaking out against the name is Cadence Weapon, a.k.a. Rollie Pemberton, whose grandfather and namesake Rollie Miles was a member of the team from 1951 to 1961. Pemberton wrote, "My grandfather Rollie Miles won three Grey Cups with the team. Changing the name won't affect his legacy. Be on the right side of history. Change the name."
The team's latest statement came hours after an announcement by Washington's NFL team, whose name is a slur against Indigenous people, that they will be "undergo[ing] a thorough review of the team's name." The Edmonton team underwent a similar review process last year, which resulted in the team announcing in February that it has "decided to retain its name."
The Edmonton team's statement reads that they "conducted an extensive research and engagement program with Canada's Inuit community regarding our team name. We announced the findings from that program several months ago which included the fact that there was no consensus among the Inuit people and considerable support for the [team] name among Inuit in various parts of Canada."
Yes. Who did they consult? It's be good to see names/numbers/anything but their statement. Also they are nowhere near Inuit lands I believe they are in Dene/Cree territory. Not that it would be ok to name it after them either.— tanya tagaq (@tagaq) July 3, 2020
Change your name— tanya tagaq (@tagaq) July 3, 2020