Indigenous groups are calling the McGill Redmen team name racist and insulting
Indigenous groups and students are calling on McGill University to change the name of the Redmen sports teams.
Despite the rain, a few hundred students protested on Wednesday afternoon on McGill campus calling the "Redmen" name racist and offensive.
Tomas Jirousek who is a first year student and head of the Indigenous Affairs Committee at McGill has been calling on the change since mid-October. Jirousek says Indigenous groups have been demanding the university to change the name long before he was a student.
Despite the rain, a few hundred students have gathered on McGill campus calling to #ChangeTheName of the Redmen. Those from the Indigenous community in Montreal are saying they are being ignored. #CJAD800 pic.twitter.com/gnmuxPnhpE— Elizabeth Zogalis (@EZogalis) October 31, 2018
"Back in 1992 we pushed quite aggressively for the Redmen name to change. The Indigenous groups at the time were very successful in getting the change of the logo" said Jirousek. "We want to show our non-Indigenous students who don't support in changing the Redmen name that there is in fact a lot of evidence behind the origins of the Redmen name being connected to Indigenous people."
The school claims the name has been used since the 1920s to indicate the colour traditionally worn by the athletic teams.
In 2016, the Provost's Task Force on Indigenous Studies and Indigenous Education released a report recommending a name change.
In 2018 another group has been assigned to look into a possible name change. The Working Group on Commemoration and Renaming is expected to release a report on December 6.
McGill says it will not make any decisions until then. An open petition is available here.