Nunatsiaq Online
COMMENTARY: Around the Arctic November 29, 2017 - 1:10 pm

“Edmonton Eskimos” is a racial slur and it’s time to stop using it

"Painful and abusive rhetoric has both emotional and financial costs"

Natan Obed, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Iqaluit on Feb. 9, 2017, when they signed the landmark Inuit-Crown partnership agreement. Throughout his tenure at ITK, Obed has campaigned to have the Edmonton Eskimos change the name of their CFL football team. (FILE PHOTO)
Natan Obed, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Iqaluit on Feb. 9, 2017, when they signed the landmark Inuit-Crown partnership agreement. Throughout his tenure at ITK, Obed has campaigned to have the Edmonton Eskimos change the name of their CFL football team. (FILE PHOTO)

NORMA DUNNING, University of Alberta

The Edmonton Eskimos had a big football game this past Nov. 19 and thousands of people in my hometown who hoped their team would make it to the Grey Cup were ultimately disappointed. But when I think of my city’s Canadian Football League team, I have a different hope—that it will soon stop using the word “Eskimos.”

The use of the Eskimos name has been a recurring issue for the past few years, especially since Natan Obed, national Inuit leader for Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, called for the elimination of the name as part of his organization’s ongoing fight against colonization in the name of reconciliation.

“The colonial legacy of naming is about power and control,” Obed said. “The issue of Inuit being used as a sports team mascot matters, because this is the way this legacy continues to play out in popular culture.”

As an Inuit scholar and writer, I have also spoken on this topic several times, both with the media and within my own work.

The Edmonton Eskimos are an institution and, like most institutions, want to appear as though they are helping and respecting the less fortunate or the underdogs of society. The Edmonton football team has said they use their name with pride. In fact, they are disrespecting and suppressing Inuit peoples.

By using the word “Eskimos,” they are perpetuating the ideas that go along with the word. First, the word “Eskimo” is not used by my peoples, and second, they are perpetuating the concept that Inuit do not have the abilities required for present-day modern living.

I live in Edmonton—a city that presents itself as being progressive and modern. So why continue to use a term circulated by anthropologists hundreds of years ago?

More importantly, why continue to make use of a word that is considered to be—by the people most affected—a racial slur?

In my creative work, when I make use of the word “Eskimo,” it is to bring attention to the ongoing colonization of Inuit peoples in Canada. Sadly, most of the Canadian population has been indoctrinated into the grand narrative of our country’s history in which Aboriginal Canadians are absent.

Therefore, the general population is led to believe the word “Eskimo” is harmless. This is rhetoric, constantly generated by media, to an audience that is uninformed or misinformed about the truth of Inuit existence in Canada.

Economic disparity

The issue is not only about the use of a word, it is also about the disparity that Inuit Canadians live within on a daily basis. It is about Inuit as the smallest group of Aboriginal Canadians, holding the rank of first place in all the statistics that point to poverty, food scarcity and high attrition rates in high school.

Painful and abusive rhetoric has both emotional and financial costs. From where I stand, “the Edmonton Eskimos” have done very well financially off of the word “Eskimo.” However, I do not see where the team or the CFL has given back to Inuit Canadians as a whole.

Inuit are contributing citizens of Canada. We have always paid full taxes. We do not receive any form of individual payment for the resources that are harvested within the northern areas of Canada.

Any profits received from the resources that Canada or a foreign industry pay for the right to harvest is placed into a heritage trust account, ensuring that Inuit history and language is sustained into future generations.

The public may think that a land claims agreement represents a huge payout to Inuit in the north, but it does not. It represents an agreement that places the federal government into a position of fulfilling a fiduciary obligation towards the people whose land and resources they wanted.

True ways to reconciliation

My opposition of the use of the word “Eskimo” by a major football team is not just about cultural appropriation.

Eliminating the use of the word “Eskimo” is about the empowerment and respect required and demanded by Inuit Canadians.

I heard on CBC Calgary that a small social media survey was taken within the northern areas of Canada where the response was in favour of the word “Eskimo.” I also believe that if one Inuit person says, “I don’t mind it. That’s what we are!” the media and the institutions that hold power will feel justified in how they use the word.

Last week, Global News reported on a national survey which found only 21 per cent of Canadians believed the “Eskimos” team name to be unacceptable. In Alberta, that number was just 12 per cent. But this was a poll of only 1,005 people. Clearly, media can present information that leaves out important facts and does not give a true representation of an issue. Perhaps this can be interpreted as yet another way an institution protects itself.

Another issue is some non-Inuit may feel that by supporting a football team named the “Eskimos”, they have somehow engaged with Inuit culture or are supporting an Aboriginal group. But Inuit never invented or played football traditionally. Inuit traditional sport is more complex, requiring an intersection of finesse and skill.

Perhaps becoming involved in the Arctic Games, or informing oneself on what Inuit culture is, could be a form of personal reconciliation that mainstream society could take up.

I speak from what I know. What I know is the name of a football team generates a great deal of passion and energy. I would like to see that passion and energy from the fans and general public put into the social justice issues that the Inuit represent. If that happened, what a beautiful world we would live in.

The ConversationInuttigut. We the Inuit: We are here.

Norma Dunning is a PhD candidate in the Department of Educational Policy Studies, Indigenous Peoples Education, University of Alberta

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

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(101) Comments:

#1. Posted by Esqueemo on November 29, 2017

“Edmonton Eskimos” is not a racial slur.  A majority of Eskimo’s in Nunavut believe it is an honor that professional team us using “Eskimo”.  Another way of putting us on a map.  ITK and its leader should tackle more serious issues.  Let’s move on from this issue.  Please!!

#2. Posted by andrew dialla on November 29, 2017

ITK Prez started this waster of resources and time. You the media is also wasting time on this stupid eskimos business. Some of us look at it like with the Vikings, the Vikings could not beat the eskimos, gave up and left, according to our oral histories. Name is good, keep it. Worry about 50+ percent unemployment in Nunavut, 3000+ new homes needed just to catch up. 20+ people living in 2 bedroom houses. List goes on…..

#3. Posted by Deal With Real Issues on November 29, 2017

Natan Obed get over it already!!! Nobody cares if they are called Eskimo’s, you want to talk about words used as racial slurs why not stop people from using kabloonak as well? Or itkilik.

You sir and ITK are wasting our time, effort and money on making Nunavut a better place to live. Deal with some real important issues.

#4. Posted by EskimoJOE on November 29, 2017

Eskimo is not a racial slur whatsoever. What gives you the right to speak for the 30,000 Eskimos/Inuit across Canada? Have a public forum of some sort and figure out how many people the word Eskimo hurts. I’d say 80% of us don’t mind the name and aren’t hurt/offended by it.

GO ESKIMOS GO! Keep the name.

#5. Posted by Common Sense on November 29, 2017

A word only has power if you give it the power, otherwise it is just a word. If a team or company is using language you don’t like then don’t support that business. You have the right to your opinion and so does everyone else.

Unfortunately in today’s world most people go on with their day and stand up when something is really wrong, but the vocal minority who have to have a say about every last thing they perceive as an injustice is heard the most.

Time to pick and choose your battles. You could be championing a better cause. Better education, better housing, feeding children who need it. Instead you chose to nitpick about a name that people don’t really seem that upset about. Sounds like more of a personal crusade than anything.

#6. Posted by Koonoo Campbell on November 29, 2017

they got this so wrong, just because maybe one person offended, they think all the eskimos are offended but we are not!!! most of us want the name remain please.There should be an official vote on this.

#7. Posted by Piitarsuaq on November 29, 2017

Another qablunaaq telling us how we think, and what we think.  We can think for ourselves, Norma, thank you very much.  And no, we don’t think the name is a racial slur.

#8. Posted by proud Eskimo on November 29, 2017

Wow I am a proud eskimo here, why is he trying to change a sport team name, I want them to keep it so the world will know that the word eskimo is a strong representation of our heritage, Obed should concentrate on more sensitive issue, this is a sport name and I am proud someone recognize our name.

#9. Posted by Defeatism on November 29, 2017

It’s easier to turn on each other and pretend the term doesn’t bother us than it is to play the bad guy and say “sorry Edmonton Eskimos, your name is stupid and makes you look foolish.”

I guarantee you that most Inuit feel negative emotions when a qalunnat walks up to them and says “hi eskimo” in a neutral tone. You can sit behind your computer or complain to Jordan Konek that Natan doesn’t speak for you (as if he sits at his desk and works on the CFL all day) or you can stand up to an old white organization that never gave a crap about you and tell them you think they’re stupid. They keep that name because they make profit from merchandizing, not because they respect Inuit. We don’t have to tell them to change their name, but we can tell them they’re petty and we’re above it. Let’s stop bowing down every time there’s a bit of media scrutiny against Inuit and stand up for ourselves. Natan knew there’d be backlash but he knows this isn’t right. Let’s stop being defeatists!

#10. Posted by Eskimo on November 29, 2017

I love being called an Eskimo. Like everyone is sayingdeal with more serious issues and stop wasting our time and money.Nathan you should focus on the art of language first.We all know you can not speak it so help yourself and others learn it.Mental health and housing I would have thought ITK would work on the issues in inuit land and not tackle somthing in Alberta.

#11. Posted by Eskimos on November 29, 2017

BC Lions- sounds scary
Edmonton Eskimos- sounds tough & strong
Sask. Roughriders- sounds tough
Winnipeg Blue Bombers- sounds heroic and brave
Toronto Argos- sounds athletic or something
Montreal Als- don’t know what it means

Be proud of the Eskimos for making us feel at home among the names of other CFL teams.

#12. Posted by Make Believe on November 29, 2017

This fight is about a fake word.  No language in the world originated the “Eskimo”.  Eskimo does not even mean eater of raw meat.  It is not even an insult ask me if I eat raw meat.  I eat raw meat. 

There are no Eskimos.  There are proud Eskimos of Alaska, yes.  I do not even think the footballers are really called Eskimos.  How about let us act like mature Inuit and give them that name. 

Eskimo has nothing to do with me.  Just a few times, I had to say “Eskimo” to a some tourist groups from far away because “Inuit” had no meaning for them.  They understood then and soon forgot everything.  No one got hurt.

#13. Posted by C’mon now!!! on November 29, 2017

Ok Norma we need to get your priorities straight too. Us Inuit who spend everyday and our lives up in the Arctic have many other issues that we think are more important - food insecurity, mental health care, housing etc - and a majority of us aren’t bothered by the name and wish that individuals such as yourself and Natan would use the platforms you have to bring awareness to issues that matter. At the very least please don’t assume that Inuit want something done/feel a certain way and don’t speak on our behalf.

The Edmonton Eskimos now have a new fan.

#14. Posted by inuk on November 29, 2017

Inuit already made up their minds, no objection, KEEP THE NAME.

#15. Posted by David on November 29, 2017

He should concentrate on more serious issues that the North is facing. The slur isn’t racial, Go Eskimos go, Go Eskimos go, Go Eskimos go. City of Edmonton don’t rename your football team.

#16. Posted by Pete on November 29, 2017

Glad to see that this issue is getting no traction, because it doesn’t deserve any!

#17. Posted by Defeatism on November 29, 2017

@7: Norma is Inuk, or is she not Inuk enough for you?

#18. Posted by Serious?!? on November 29, 2017

Ok ppl!!! Read the piece. It was written by Norma Dunning and it is her representation of what she feels Inuit feel and NOT about Natan. Before going off on how a Qallunat is trying to speak for us we need to understand that her mom is Inuk from Whale Cove BUT that she, apparently, has never been there.

Now she and Natan have to start to understand that they are wrong.

#19. Posted by I'm an Inuk not an Eskimo on November 29, 2017

Eskimo, Eskimeaux, skimo. eski.
Everyone so proud of being called eskimo until they go south and get called derogatory names such as the above listed. But then again some don’t really know the difference.
The word Eskimo or Eskimeaux means eaters of raw meat introduced by the Cree and then the French adopted the word. This was and never will be an Inuit word.It was a label, but I guess everyone posting on here likes labels.
Yes, there are better issues, but please do not be so naive to believe that Natan Obed is not doing his job because he is.
Please do not tell me that we need a football team to put Inuit on the map, Inuit were here before maps existed. AND my ancestors did not need to be recognized by anyone, let alone a map or a football team.
Please do not tell me that 80% of Inuit feel as though this is not an issue for them, because you do not speak for me or my family, and neither should anyone else and I do take offense.

#20. Posted by Uvanga on November 29, 2017

Dunning says, “More importantly, why continue to make use of a word that is considered to be—by the people most affected—a racial slur?”

Why do you consider this word to be a racial slur? Yes we are Eskimos. We are raw meat eaters. I am proud to be an Eskimo.

To me it seems that the word Eskimo is more so used in the West. Whereas the people in the Baffin are so butt hurt over the name.

ITK should propose an election amongst all Inuit across Inuit Nunangat and use those stats to make their final decision. The numbers would surprise you. I myself would vote in favour of the Edmonton Eskimos keeping their name. Go Esks!!!!! I’ll proudly wear my Eskimos tshirt today.

#21. Posted by Dog Face from near Dog River on November 29, 2017

Oh Crap!! We are all going to die of a broken heart.  I worked with an Inuk who called me leprechaun even though I was a foot taller.  No insult there.  I’ve seen more than one First Nation person wearing the dreaded sports caps from those awful football and baseball teams.  One was upset ‘cause I didn’t bring him one home from DC & Cleveland.
And next St. Patrick’s day remember only some of us have Irish roots so put your “Kiss me I’m Irish’ back in the drawer or I’ll pout.

#22. Posted by Fred Pedersen on November 29, 2017

This is a non-issue, I work for an Inuit organization and it has never ever been brought up or discussed as an issue in over 40 years of our existence. This commentary is from one person, just like when Natan brings it up, check the ITK minutes to see if it was even brought up at that level. Speaking of ITK, did anyone notice that all of their Inuit awards went to only Inuit from Labrador, is it a National organization or a Labrador organization?

#23. Posted by Really? on November 29, 2017

If “Eskimo” is not a derogatory term as the people above would have you think, why isn’t the term used more often up here? The word has existed for a long time so why don’t we see it in government offices and businesses in Nunavut? Why don’t we hear it used in day to day conversation. Come on people!!! You know darn well that it is not a positive word to use in referring to Inuit. Anyone who would say otherwise with a straight face is living in a Donald Trump alternate reality!!!!

#24. Posted by Inuk on November 29, 2017

Whats the catch, keep the name. Whats his name, Inuit did not elect him, to represent us, simple as that!

#25. Posted by Charlie on November 29, 2017

Here we go again, never comes to my mind being inuk and have called myself and Eskimo at one point or another is no offence to me at all, glad Edmonton Eskimos are a name of a CFL team. Washington Redskins were also a news maker, but never came to a solution if they will change their name. Whoever came up with these so called racial slurs, just drop them.

#26. Posted by Kataaqruk on November 29, 2017

Ah, made my day # 12 & 16!
I looked up the Word Eskimo (The Merriam-Webster Dictionary) and it does not depict any racial slurs about the word Eskimo.
I am a Proud Eater of Raw Meat and my thought for the day is STOP NATANINE! Just LET IT GO!
Go talk to our Prime Minister and tell him to spend Millions of Dollars towards the Arctic Peoples instead of giving it all away to Foreigners. We LIVE in 3rd world conditions, we need help!!!

#27. Posted by Research facts on November 29, 2017

For those that think this was an non-Inuk that wrote this, it was someone who is/was the Vice-President of the Inuit Edmontionmiut Association.  She is originally from Whale Cove.

#28. Posted by Inullarik on November 29, 2017

I come from a place formally call Eskimo Point. There was a vote for change name to Arviat and the vote was close for almost half did’nt want name change but little over half won. That was a disappointment and now Eskimo Point is off the world map. Work eskimo is not a racial slur as President of ITK says, in fact it was Dene when referring to Inuit as eaters of raw wildlife meat not any other meat in the market. I don’t mind being called eskimo as I want the world to know that I depend on wildlife for main food. For the past thousand years we are known to be eskimos and the world including Qablunaat came to respect of who we are

#29. Posted by Eskimo on November 29, 2017

I was on vacation in Mexico 2 yrs ago with my elder mom. i was talking to her in inuktitut and we were sitting next to a couple from England and they asked what languge that was, i told them, it was inuktitut, they didn’t know what that was. So, i told them eskimo, taught them a few words in eskimo. Every time, when we saw them, they would say, its the eskimos, found that funny.
Edmonton Eskimo fan

#30. Posted by LOOK WITHIN on November 29, 2017

So taking 2 seconds this is what I found:

Eskimo Point Lumber Supplies = Arviat
Eskimo Point Lumber Supplies = Rankin Inlet
Eskimo Inn = Inuvik
Holman Eskimo Co-op = Ulukhaktok
West Baffin Eskimo Co-Operative = Cape Dorset

***NNI registry business search (***
Issatik Eskimo Co-operative = Whale Cove

So we can’t even fix this issue within our OWN territory we need to look outside to find problems… seriously though why don’t all these businesses in NUNAVUT/NWT need to change their names (we allow it in our backyard WTH)!!!

#31. Posted by Esqueemo on November 29, 2017

Aluki, Please have NTI send an open letter to the Mayor of Edmonton, AB., copy the owner of the Edmonton Eskimo, Journal, Obed of ITK, Justin-Canada and inform them…we Inuit of Nunavut are cool with the name “Edonton Eskimo”.  Put an end to this needless rhetoric.

#32. Posted by Eskimo Joe on November 29, 2017

Please stop wasting efforts in this issue. Edmonton Eskimos is not a problem and it don’t bother me one bit or lose sleep over it. get over it boys and girls.

#33. Posted by Toonik's Grandfather on November 29, 2017

Let it (&^%$#@) rest now, messege is clear from Inuit voters.  Edmonton Football players are Edmonton Eskimos…....up here in NWT, Nunavut, Nunavik and Nunatsiavut, we are NOW Inuit NOT Eskimos anymore.  It is a non-issue, to non Inuit Mayors in south, it NOT your role to speak for us above 60.

#34. Posted by I'm an Inuk not an Eskimo on November 29, 2017

Hey #35, not all Inuit live in Nunavut, and you do not speak for all Inuit in the country, let alone Nunavut, more Inuit in the rest of Canada as well you know.
People need to stop the backlash against Obed, he is doing his job.
Go to your own council, go to your newly voted in MLA’s in our communities and ask them what they are doing to solve all these other important issues that everyone in the North deals with. Lets ask them to lessen the income support rates, build new housing, lets ask them why we cannot get an elders home or decent health services in the north, because that IS their job, not Obed’s.
Just wondering what the Edmonton Eskimos have done for all the Inuit lately? Do Inuit in Alberta get free access to games? Do they do football camps in the Kitikmeot region maybe? Oh wait, they have a sports name that supposedly represents the Edmonton Eskimos and somehow Inuit are proud because of what?
I seem to have forgotten why Inuit are so proud.

#35. Posted by Former Edmonton Eskimo on November 29, 2017…

Execute your own words Norma, and focus your attention on bigger issues.

#36. Posted by Pwned on November 29, 2017

Norma Dunning is Pwned by the 2015 CBC piece as #40 pointed out haha

#37. Posted by Junior on November 29, 2017

Lets put this in perspective. Qallunak/qablunak is not a racial slur it is our way to describe a people in an accurate/indiscriminate manner.
We refer to ourselves as Inuit, Eskimo is how we are referred to accurately/indiscriminately by another people.
It is as simple as that.

The word is not the problem, now the context of its use is another story.  Let us not confuse that context or overcomplicate the matter redirecting other issues facing the north.

Gord Downie accurately described the north, its worse that its ever been.  But we are out of sight out of mind as it seems. Trudeau putting so much money to refugees hurt the inuit, because we need funding of that scale to begin to improve things up here.

#38. Posted by Jobi on November 29, 2017

I am Inuit and very proud to know my ancestors were pioneers in the arctic and were consulted and respected by explorers who could not have survived in such a harsh climate w/out the wisdom & experience of Eskimos. The name Eskimo is from a time in history when the reference was made with the highest regard & respect.

#39. Posted by IceClass on November 29, 2017


#40. Posted by #ChangeTheName on November 29, 2017

-You can like the team BUT BE WRONG ABOUT THE NAME
-You can like tradition BUT BE WRONG ABOUT THE NAME
-You can be mean and aggressive BUT BE WRONG ABOUT THE NAME
-You can have all the bigots comment on this BUT BE WRONG ABOUT THE NAME


#41. Posted by Namumiar on November 29, 2017

Glad to see Inuit keeping it nI perspective.  Eskimo is an identity that is genuinely respected in this day & age.  Let’s keep it that way, Inuit.

#42. Posted by Bern on November 29, 2017

Come on people let’s focus on what’s real important for the people in Canada’s Arctic; poverty,lack of housing,disease, unemployment & mental illness.
These are the main issues , not the name of a football team, so sad to see what some people think the real issues are here.

#43. Posted by Get rid of it on November 29, 2017

Wake up dear people and get rid of that political correctness from the big land. He is only dreaming about what someone told him, inuit are fooled into his political correct-white beliefs. Wake up. Hug again my Trudeau. Eskimo me.

#44. Posted by Inuk on November 29, 2017


#45. Posted by Colin on November 29, 2017

People have been wrongly led to believe that the word Eskimo derives from an Algonquin language and is disparaging because it means eaters of raw meat. That’s an invention of busybodies in our universities who denigrated the word and dumped on the deservedly esteemed market brand of Eskimo art.

Ives Goddard, anthropologist and linguist at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, has debunked any connection with an Amerindian language. In any case, smart restaurants call raw beef “steak tartare”.
I believe the word Eskimo derives from the ancient Greek poet Homer’s Kimmeroi, described as “mythical northern people living in perpetual mist and darkness.” That, of course, fits for people living through a northern winter. We should proudly retain Eskimo as the generic word for people from Russia to Greenland. Edmonton’s usage? Let it go.

#46. Posted by Dr. DoLittle on November 29, 2017

I’ve seen similar things, time and time again.

Mid-level management meetings where people spend hours discussing what quality of paper towels to buy for the company washrooms, because they have no influence over anything more important. 

And the problem isn’t those mid-level managers.  It’s the incompetent people above them who do not utilize the talent of those who work for them.

I’m sure Natan and Norma would like to help solve the big problems.  But I’m also sure they are frustrated.

Either they don’t know how to even start to address the real problems, or, more likely, they have discovered that there is no obvious way open to them to actually do anything meaningful.  Not only do they have no power, they do not even have influence upon those who do. 

So they try to do something, anything, even if it is, at best, symbolic and a distraction.

It’s just like smoking or drinking - a temporary escape from an uncomfortable reality.

#47. Posted by Inuit Eskimo all cool on November 29, 2017

Hey Inuit
Your fellow citizens whether they be qalunaaq,  veered pautKi or the likeon this fair earth truly respect you as distinct Inuit, as eskimos. Never give that up. Respect for your forefathers.  For their struggles. It will make us stronger, it will make us Inuit, truly Inuit.

#48. Posted by Eskimo or Inuit on November 29, 2017


#49. Posted by Eskimo on November 29, 2017

I’ve been an Eskimo for 40 more than years. Someone from the educational south told me that I was not an esikom once upon a time. I didn’t defined as such based on some Indian versions no. We are all defined one way or another by labels and names wow. Glad to be named an Eskimo ,

#50. Posted by Racial Slurer on November 29, 2017

If you all have a problem being called eskimo then stop using the word qallunak/qablunak to refer to southerners aka WHITE PEOPLE, that word is to describe a person with bushy eyebrows not a SKIN COLOUR or race.

When was the last time you heard someone say eskimo in a derogatory way? I hear qallunak used daily to talk badly about southerners.

Inuk means person, inuit means people, sorry but I am eskimo and yes I am an inuk but I do not classify as inuit as I am not more then 1 person.

#51. Posted by Lolzera on November 29, 2017

mascots! No one absolutwly no one, not even the Rickys of this world think this way. Have more respect for your culture.eskimo.  Respect for the original Inuk.

#52. Posted by Angela Kuneyuna on November 29, 2017

Why can’t our Inuit representatives focus on the issues that affect our lives in the north? They should work on problems such as homelessness, food insecurity, lack of housing, healthcare, suicide, poverty, unemployment, just to name a few. This such a waste of time, effort and money!! Get real!!

#53. Posted by Poverty on November 30, 2017

Stop people living 10 people to a 3bed unit and you can call me whatever you want. I don’t lie awake at night worrying about the Edmonton Eskimo’s.

#54. Posted by Poverty on November 30, 2017

#34 - Good researching. I walk by a sign that says “West Baffin Eskimo Co-op” every single day for 7 years. Can anyone think of a racial slur that could exist on the side of a main grocery store of a community for 20+ years? This is at the Co-op…........oh let me go get my co-op cheque I love these discounts so much I just wont make a fuss about this super insensitive racial slur….come on.

#55. Posted by ANNOYED ESKIMO on November 30, 2017

Natan get your head out of your little a$$ and start focusing on the bigger problems us Eskimos face in Nunavut! ‘Edmonton Eskimos’ IS NOT A RACIAL SLUR. Unbelievable and such an embarrassment!

#56. Posted by Inuk on November 30, 2017

It’s funny, a southern (northern) city with a team using Eskimo, most people in southern Canada have little clue about the north, the true north,

Most Southern Canadians say middle of nowhere, a waste land and so on. They try to defend the high cost of basic living, social and health issues and so on. When we live in Canada, I’ll say that again in Canada, in this country we have people saying these things far too often, to defend the situation that we live in because of their ignorance and pride.

This rubs off some northern people because they fail to see the whole picture, it’s not just the name, it’s much more than that, it’s taking control, it’s educating, it’s moving forward. Trying to be proud of a country as a whole when there is so much ignorance and intolerance yet today, so much work and education still has to happen and this is a good step forward. You have to make the connections, sometimes it’s not obvious and we start excepting the ignorance and supporting it.

#57. Posted by Inuk not Eskimo on November 30, 2017

Looks like there are a lot of well colonized Inuit out there, so used to being called a Eskimo without really knowing what it means from the perspective from a non Inuk.

If you really are proud of being an Inuk, you would try to understand more about why it’s important to be recognized how you called each other before being colonized. Instead of blindly excepting and adopting a foreign word that others describe you in their view. We are much more than that we are Inuit, and I am proud to be an Inuk!

#58. Posted by Gordon Kukkuvak on November 30, 2017

Eskimo is not a racist word they put us on the map to be recognize why take this route to make a name for himself so he can sideline the real issue’s such as homelessness inuit (eskimo’s) dying at times in the cold arctic living in the shack,mental health,health problems,housing shortage and high cost of living in the north let Nathan Obed step aside and let a real politician work go Edmonton Eskimo’s racial slang for inuit is skunk lice who knows what else!!

#59. Posted by on November 30, 2017

I am an Inuk, for all of our being have we ever called our self Eskimos? When history is passed down orally has it ever been said by our elders, those/them Eskimos? No but only Inuit, Inuk. Eskimo is a name name GIVEN to us! Let us fight to keep our own name alive and true.

#60. Posted by Jennifer Cockney on November 30, 2017

I am from Tuktoyaktuk Northwest Territories and I was born in Edmonton. I also lived in Edmonton for about 20 years, I was and still am very proud of the Edmonton Eskimos and I am not at all insulted by the name and I never was. I am in fact a registered Inuvialuit but I also considered myself as a true Edmonton Eskimo. Please DO NOT change the name! Thank You.

#61. Posted by samuel jacobson on November 30, 2017

keep the name , makes me proud smile

#62. Posted by Denise on November 30, 2017

How are we going to change Christmas Songs?  There is nothing derogatory about Eskimo in my world.  My grandmother is 99 and calls herself an Eskimo daily.  We are proud to be Eskimo, or Inuk, or specifically Inuvialuit.  There are definitely serious issues such as housing and food expenses that should be addressed.  No one in the Inuit Tapiriit called me regarding this BS.  Edmonton Eskimos all the way!

#63. Posted by Hi Denise on November 30, 2017

#67: this is not about Christmas songs. It is about sports teams being named after people like primitive savages and mascots.

#64. Posted by Inuk on November 30, 2017

Mai qanuli?? Hukmat atqimik ajaruinilukpit Obed?? Huvit qanuq ihmavit??

#65. Posted by uvaga on November 30, 2017

Lets go Edmonton ESKIMO’s lets go, hope they win every year and USE the name Edmonton ESKIMO’s proud of it, he needs to go MH.
me Eskimo not inuk lol

#66. Posted by Young Inuk on November 30, 2017

The stories I heard from my grandparents they never used the word Eskimo, they never describe themselves or others as Eskimo, this is a foreign word given to us, I think the ones that are least connected to how Inuit were accept this word and the ones that have a closer connection with our culture and history do not except it.

I agree, more education is needed on this issue on both sides.

#67. Posted by Change the name on November 30, 2017

You don’t need bloody consensus on this issue. What if we needed a survey and consensus on women voting? Women working out of the home? Same sex marriage? Then we wouldn’t have achieved it.

It’s not a priority but naming sports teams after people needs to change. Period. Even if there are loud mouthed babies crying to keep them name.

#68. Posted by Observer on November 30, 2017

#68, that would be true if Edmonton had a mascot that was a caricature of an Inuk, or if one was displayed on a team logo, but it isn’t and pretty much never has been.

#69. Posted by Supporter on November 30, 2017

I had a puppy name Eskimo and we loved him, he was a good dog.

#70. Posted by Inuk on November 30, 2017

The thing is, Inuit did not put Obed into the chair, ITK board did. Further more, NTI is Inuit rep and its time for ITK to stop receiving funding from feds.

#71. Posted by PureInuk on November 30, 2017

We face more serious challenges up in the north, and the ITK president chooses to focus on a NAME. He’d rather ignore those serious challenges and waste time on a folly matter. We need housing problems solved, we need better solutions for our mental health. This is just sad that one person in power can choose what topics we have to focus on.

#72. Posted by #changethename on November 30, 2017

If there are more important issues, why is everyone yelling to keep the name? Go make comments on those more important issues then.


#73. Posted by K on November 30, 2017

“It’s not a priority but naming sports teams after people needs to change. Period.”

That being the case, you also need to get rid of Vikings, Raiders, Cowboys, Steelers, Packers, 49ers, Texans, Buccaneers, Patriots, Roughriders, Brewers, Yankees, Pirates, Padres, Mariners, Rangers, Canadiens, Canucks, Senators, Islanders, Blue Jackets, Knights, Mauraders, Warriors, Lancers, Axemen, Mounties, Saxons, Crusaders, Trojans, Spartans, Swedes, Royals, Judges, Cavaliers, Pioneers, Matadors, Dutch, Pioneers, Fighting Scots, Fighting Irish, Tejanos, Conquistadors, Diplomats, Paladins, Princes, Statesmen, Lumberjacks, Foresters, Hoosiers, Grenadiers, Gaels, Lords, Ladies, Explorers, Flying Dutchmen, Preachers, Cajuns, Norse, Highlanders…
and on and on and on.

And what do you do with teams like the Seminoles, who have an agreement with the American First Nation of the same name?

#74. Posted by iThink on November 30, 2017

So, if you are an Inuk and like the name Eskimo you are either a bigot, or you are colonized.

Sadly, this is how leftists engage in debate today, rather than using reason to discuss they shame you into accepting with their position.

Is there any evidence at all of the term Eskimo being used as a slur, or as a derogatory term? I think this is a dishonest portrayal of the terms use. Another debate tactic by so called progressives; lying.


#75. Posted by L on November 30, 2017

Why don’t we have a football team with the name Caucasian?

#76. Posted by Think harder on November 30, 2017

So, now the right wings come out and support this, is there any evidence that this word has not been used as a slur or as a derogatory term?

So why is it ok with you that this word is used?

I agree that we have been colonized don’t you? Do you disagree that Inuit have been colonized?

Decolonizing can be difficult for some people and it will take a long time to get past it.

#77. Posted by Side Note on November 30, 2017

#80 Well, there’s the New York Knicks (Dutch), the Minnesota Vikings (Scandinavian), The Luther Norse (also Scandinavian), the England Saxons (Rugby), the Boston Celtics, Celtic FC (Ireland), the Iona Gaels (Athletics)... and, many more.

Caucasian is a very broad term, much broader than Inuit or Eskimo as it encompasses multiple ethnic and language groups, not one or even a couple.

#78. Posted by iThink on November 30, 2017

#81 Asking for evidence for the non-existence of an action or thing is not how logic works.

I never suggested the word IS okay to use, I was only pointing out the feeble tactics of those who oppose it.

I’m non-Inuk so it’s not for me to decide. 

Have Inuit been colonized? Yes, of course. What’s the connection between colonization and this team name and this word, to you?

#79. Posted by Innullarik on November 30, 2017

Look up “Esquimaux” and see long rich history

#80. Posted by Jimi Onalik on November 30, 2017

What a bunch of Eskimos, man.

#81. Posted by Observer on November 30, 2017

“What’s the connection between colonization and this team name and this word, to you? “

There is no connection. The team name originated just after 1900 when the rivalry between Calgary and Edmonton resulted in Edmontonians joking about Calgarians being all cowboys (which resulted in “Stampeders”), and Calgarians joking about Edmonton being so cold that only Eskimos could live there. That’s why there’s never really been imagery associating Inuit with the team (unless you count the polar bear), because the name wasn’t referencing Inuit at all aside from the concept of “people who live in really cold regions”.

#82. Posted by Footballer on November 30, 2017

Edmonton Rednecks would be more fitting than Eskimos I think, but than again some people might get offended.

#83. Posted by redbrew on November 30, 2017

Nathan so soon into your position and you want to bog down negioations with a matter that has been settled by your constituents years ago.You were elected to do better for your people and to get bogged down on this is to detract from the real needs of housing and support for those that need the t. I understand you grew up in a household of plenty but do not forget the reason you were elected. To bring all your people to the level of your upbringing.

#84. Posted by Connector on December 01, 2017

“But Inuit never invented or played football traditionally. Inuit traditional sport is more complex, requiring an intersection of finesse and skill.”

What, like leg wrestling and the mouth pulling game? (Complex?) Lol. Don’t get me wrong, Inuit games are impressive to say the least - maybe the CFL should incorporate some in their training.  I’d love to see some CFL players do the “one leg high kick”!

#85. Posted by Petition on December 01, 2017

I don’t see any policies, directives that ITK had made that affect my small community in Nunavut.  We should start a petition to get rid of ITK.  My community will not get better or better lives if this name change.  What is worrisome is losing our language! Housing, suicide,property.  Name change those will still be the issues.

#86. Posted by Clarke on December 01, 2017

If the Inuit people do not use this name Eskimo , then why is it offensive?

#87. Posted by Inuk on December 01, 2017

Its interesting how most of you grabbed onto this, Natan has done so much since he started, open doors for Inuit organisations with federal government.
Natan has done much more in a short time but you instead want to grab onto this one piece, not the other stuff that is important to you, or is this one piece more important for you?

A lot of you don’t seem to understand how important ITK is. Its not a community or regional organisation or even a territorial organisation. A national one, representing all Inuit in Canada. Not just your community or your region.

Instead of complaining about something you think is not worth your time, look into what you find is important and see what has gone on so far.

#88. Posted by Bobby on December 01, 2017

If white people don’t use this name Redneck, then why is it offensive?

#89. Posted by uvaga on December 01, 2017

Name it: Edmonton Natan Obed, lets go Natan Obed lets go lol

#90. Posted by Jobi on December 01, 2017

#94. That might be good name. Edmonton Obeds. Sounds good alright:)

#91. Posted by Petition on December 01, 2017

@post 92 that is because the liberals don’t want to talk to Hunter Tootoo.using Obed like they are concern for the North.  Still ITK is useless.  Waste of 💰!!  How much does he make a year, while most of us are on welfare.  This is beyond embrassing Obed!  This is how HARD you work.  Token MPguuarq

#92. Posted by Between Two Worlds on December 01, 2017

Post #96.  While I wager there is a lot of people on welfare and assistance, it is true that Natan should focus more on poverty, food insecurity, overcrowding, etc. and not on a name of a professional football team.  He should also focus on mental illness, depression and ignorance.  Yes; Ignorance.  It’s not normal to witness your parents abuse each other; shout insults at each other, beat each other with the children looking on.  This is how they’ve grown up and they are just emulating what they’ve seen & heard.  The only example of how to live their lives and think it’s normal.  That is what you should bring to the attention of your constituents.
Kind of makes you think this is a silly, bringing up a sports team name?

#93. Posted by nowandthen on December 02, 2017

What escapes me is people don’t see the word Indian for the people here in North America they didn’t come from India but are called that they don’t call themselves that and don’t like it so they call themselves First Nations which is really in the face of Americans who don’t agree with that but these are the people who put them in small lots of land when their home was defined by territories they no longer have that, this word comes from ignorance on BOTH sides who say its OK and people who have learned its not right.
I guess you can still be Inuit and not care about being called Eskimo how do you turn away from history! Oh they didn’t, they don’t know enough

#94. Posted by Inuk on December 02, 2017

Looks like there are so many new southern trolls on this site now, they’ve eve taken my Inuk handle.
Just by their comments, you can see they’re not northerners, nor are they Inuit. But they’re trying to sway the conversation to minimize Inuit wants and needs.I guess the thought of Inuit separating from Canada is making them nervous.Hence all these new trolls.

#95. Posted by Tuukittaaki on December 02, 2017

Good morning smile I am proud of Nataan Obed for his work in representing the Eskimo. I have been following Obed and had voted for him to be in office because I felt he would represent the Eskimo with passion and he does. I am sorry he was forced to take the blunt end of name calling in his youth, for that he came out the stronger, passionate about his beliefs in supporting and he’s awesome and great representative of the Eskimo. He is learned in the political aspect of his office and he does have an understanding and he incorporates the tools of his learning.
Yet on the other hand I am not in favor of his demand to change the Edmonton Eskimos name. I feel it suites the Football team, E for Edmonton and the second E for the Eskimos smile It has a nice ring to it, if you say it to yourself and it does look very good on their jersey, the colors suite them as well.
It may have been in jest when the Calgary Football team called them Eskimos due to the rivalry as both are teams for province of

#96. Posted by W. ANKER on December 02, 2017

Why don’t we just leave it up to each person concerned?
I prefer Inuit, my husband prefers Eskimo.
So let us move on and let our leaders get on with helping the people
of Nunavut.

#97. Posted by Go for it on December 03, 2017

#94 I seriously doubt there are any southerners who are nervous about Nunavut separating from Canada. Having lived here for close to 10 years I can say it’s a prospect that might make sense one day, but doesn’t make any sense today, but then not much in Nunavut makes sense to me.

As for your other comment. Just because other Inuit don’t think like you doesn’t mean their comments are coming from Southerners. Welcome to a new age.

#98. Posted by Innullarik on December 04, 2017

OK, I will make it 100. Nathan tell EE to keep thier name including all other businesses and groups who use eskimo.
Good comments.

#99. Posted by Father Time on December 05, 2017

“You say yes, I say no
You say stop and I say go go go, oh no
You say goodbye and I say hello
Hello hello”

it seems when people speak some what anonymously it makes for bigger comments that defy conventional wisdom. we have been dumbed down by a twit that won’t let his twitter filled mind at the White House go down a positive road and it affects those ready to bite at any subject.

If you think you are eskimo so be it.

I am Inuk.

#100. Posted by Shadrach on December 05, 2017

It sometimes seems as if a small minority of university educated, southern raised Inuit have been inculcated with a culture of knee-jerk offence-taking that is permeating universities these days, slowly squashing free-speech and open-mindedness on campus.

A university education is good for many things, but anybody who believes that universities teach without also indoctrinating is living in a dream world.

Maybe the answer here does require a de-colonizing of minds, but maybe its not the rank and file community-living Inuit who need to worry about whether their thinking has been clouded.

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