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Inuit Protestors Picket Edmonton Eskimos

Standoff Ends Peacefully With No Shots Fired


(SNN) - A group of dissident native northerners from the group, Really Inuit, gathered outside of Taylor Field in Regina during Saturday’s Rider game against the Edmonton Eskimos. The Nordic demonstrators expressed "sorrow and disappointment" that the visiting team chose to use the word 'Eskimo' in their name, which means 'eater of raw meat'. Native northerners prefer, instead, the more culturally accepted, 'Inuit' which translates in their native Inuktitut language to 'Roughrider'.  According to the protest group, the term 'Eskimo' is considered somewhat derogatory and archaic, and is comparable to calling First Nations people "Redskins", a fact which should make Washington, DC sports fans cringe, but doesn’t.

The Really Inuit protests are following a trend where formerly acceptable team names, are suddenly, after generations of use, found to be politically incorrect. Besides Washington’s football club, other franchises that are under the gun to change their names include the Detroit Tigers being protested by people of Tamil descent, the Cleveland Browns who apparently offend Mulatto races and the Pittsburgh Penguins who the animal rights group, PETA, has targeted.

Spokesman for Really Inuit, Walter Tookalook, appeared calm as he slowly mushed his dog team around the walls of Taylor Field; the sled’s skis strapped to skateboards. His rig was emblazoned with a sign saying, "We would politely wish to discuss the name of your football team." He expressed concern his sign might be seen as offensive.

"We don't want to make any trouble," explained Tookalook. "We just wanted to point out the possibility there may be inconsideration and disrespect being shown our people. I will admit we didn't even know this sports team was using this name until we got satellite TV last week."

Tookalook said he would feel more comfortable if they changed the team name to something more respectful of the Inuit nation. He suggested, "The Edmonton Northern Allowance Recipients" as a suitable choice.

Eskimo General Manager Ed Hervey, unaware the five member protest group was even at the game, did meet with Tookalook immediately after the game, outside the stadium. Hervey explained to the knot of demonstrators the Eskimos weren’t named after Inuit people but for actual “eaters of raw meat”. He pointed at the polar bear emblem on the jersey of Adarius Bowman, a slotback on the team.

“That is the “Eskimo” we mean,” said Hervey, “And we mean it! At least we will next year.”

The demonstrators appeared happy with the explanation. They were also impressed Hervey had gone to the trouble of creating a symbolic rendition of an Inuit stone cairn, known as an inukshuk, made out of Offensive Linemen. The group left without incident, apart from receiving a lecture from police regarding the use of doggy-doo bags which they claimed was a new idea to them.


Photo by: Nancy Muller flickr photostream, Some Rights Reserved, The Sage nor this article endorsed.

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