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CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos decide to keep name, cite feedback from Inuit communities

CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos decide to keep name, cite feedback from Inuit communities
Canada
The CFL team announced Friday they have decided to keep their branding, which some critics have slammed as derogatory, after a year of research and meetings with Inuit leaders found no “consensus” on changing it.

Instead, the team says it plans to engagement more with northern communities and build a relationship with the Inuit community.

According to the statement, team representatives met with Inuit leaders in Iqaluit, Inuvik, Yellowknife and Ottawa. They also conducted in-depth interviews with Inuit across the North and in Edmonton, as well as a phone survey of Inuit across the country, the statement said.

The team said there were “a range of views” on the name, but “no consensus emerged to support a name change.” As a result, the club has decided to officially keep it.

One of the most high-profile critics of the name has been Natan Obed, head of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, a group that represents Inuit from across the country.

In the statement, Janice Agrios, chair of the board of directors, said people did tell them they wanted more engagement with the team.

“We have invested the time and resources to create a Northern Community Engagement Program and will continue to engage with Inuit leaders and community members to strengthen the ties between the club and the Inuit community,” she said in the statement.

The new program visited schools in Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk last fall, hosted a youth service awards and participated in the Inuvik Sunrise Festival last month.

We are the CFL’s most northern team, and we want to continue to build our relationship with the Inuit community,” she said. “This is a very important initiative for us.”
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