Change Bedford Road Redmen name, school board says

Saskatoon's public school board has passed a motion calling on Bedford Road Collegiate High School to drop 'Redmen' from its team names, beginning next year.
The Bedford Road Collegiate Redmen logo. (Bedford Road Collegiate)

Saskatoon's public school board has passed a motion calling on Bedford Road Collegiate to drop 'Redmen' from its team names, beginning next year.

The motion passed Tuesday night at a packed meeting of the board where speakers — both for and against a name change — addressed the board.

A group of people at the school board meeting cheered a decision to change the name of the Bedford Redmen. (David Shield/CBC)

"All of these ... people, especially new and younger generations, might see more positive benefits if we moved forward and change the logo," Ray Morrison, the chairman of the school board, said Tuesday night, referring to many of the people who came out to support a name change.

What about the Balfour Redmen in Regina?

In Regina, sports teams at Balfour Collegiate are known as the Redmen. According to officials from the school board, the name was inspired years ago by the school's colour. There was a time when a First Nations element was part of the logo design, but teams now use a large red 'B' for Balfour in their logo. Currently, an elders advisory council is examining the Balfour team name and a recommendation and decision on what to do is expected from the Regina Public School Board by the end of the school year.

The Redmen have been the name of the school's sports teams for almost 100 years. Bedford Road Collegiate is one of Saskatoon's oldest high schools.

Former students, like Andre Bear, were on hand at the meeting urging the board to have the name changed.

"The face of the Redmen logo, it has red skin," Bear noted. "I don't have red skin. Neither do any of my people."

There was a mix of opinion from current students.

"I like being a Redmen," Danny O'Keefe said. "I'm on the football team. It's just good, it's an honour."

Another current student, Sheldon Lacerte, said he was OK with a name-change.

"I think it's time for a change," Lacerte said. "I'm not personally against it staying, but I know a lot of people want to change it, so ... change it."
The school board, in recognition of the costs associated with changing the logo, said it will cover such expenses. They range from redoing some of the floorboards in the school gymnasium to buying dozens of new jerseys.

The new name for the sports team was left to the school to decide, but the Redmen name would be discontinued at the end of the current school year.
 

With files from CBC's David Shield

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