Decision on whether to change McGill Redmen name will have to wait

McGill University says it need more time before deciding what to do about its sports teams' contentious Redmen name.

Principal Suzanne Fortier says in a statement that she's postponing a final decision due to a high volume of messages expressing opinions on whether the name should be dropped.

The university released a working group report in December that revealed deep divisions between students and alumni who defend the nearly century-old name and those who feel it is derogatory to Indigenous students.

The Redmen name dates back to the 1920s and has been described as a tribute to the teams' red uniforms. But in the 1950s, men's and women's teams came to be nicknamed the "Indians'' and "Squaws,'' and some teams later adopted a logo with an Indigenous man wearing a headdress.

79 per cent of students voted to abandon the Redmen name in a November referendum following a campaign led by Indigenous staff and students.

The school had originally promised an answer in January, but Fortier now says she'll consult some more with students, staff and stakeholders before announcing a final decision by the end of the current semester.