EE Football Team_Helmet

July 21, 2020 - Temporary Name Edmonton Football Team or EE Football Team

In response to Obed’s calls for the team to change its name, the Eskimos organization announced that it would increase its engagement with Canada’s Inuit population. This engagement included holding consultations with Inuit in several Northern communities and sending Eskimos players to represent the team and meet with students in Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk. In February 2020, following a year-long research and engagement program in-person meetings and telephone surveys, the Eskimos announced that they intended to keep the name, citing a lack of consensus in supporting a name change. In the aftermath of increased racial sensitivity following the killing of George Floyd in the United States, sports teams that utilize indigenous iconography – including the Eskimos – came under increased pressure to change their names. While several teams, including the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians announced their intention to review their use of indigenous mascots, the Eskimos initially announced their intention to keep their name based upon the findings of their 2019 research. However, on July 8, 2020, the team released a statement announcing that the name would undergo an internal review, with the results being made public at the end of the month. The team’s statement came after a threat by longtime league sponsor Belair Direct to end its partnership with the CFL unless the name is changed. Other major sponsors, such as Coca-Cola, also expressed concerns about the continued lack of consensus regarding the Eskimos name. The NHL’s first Inuk player, Jordin Tootoo says that he has no personal issue with “Eskimos” but thinks the team should consider changing it.