Calgary high school to change 'Redmen' team name

Western Canada High School in Calgary says it will start the process of changing its sports teams' name and logo from 'Redmen' because the term is an offensive reference to aboriginal people.

Western Canada will drop team name thought of as offensive reference to aboriginal people

Some alumni of Western Canada High School are upset that the school's sports teams will no longer be known as the "Redmen". (Western Canada High School)

Western Canada High School in Calgary will change the name and logo of its sports teams from "Redmen" to something less controversial. 

The decision was recommended by a council of aboriginal elders from the Treaty 7 area who advise the board, said Calgary Board of Education spokesperson Calvin Davies.

The term "Redmen" is considered an offensive reference to North American aboriginal people. In the United States, there's been a an ongoing campaign urging the NFL's Washington Redskins to change their name. In the lead up to this year's Super Bowl, the National Congress of American Indians released a video called "Proud to Be," targeting the team's name. 

Strong support for decision 

In Calgary, Davies said there's strong support from Western Canada's administration, students and parents for the decision. 

"There's been enough discussion to date that we feel that it's high time for us to move forward and transition to a new name at Western Canada," said Davies.

Davies said the move was also inspired by similar decisions in other school districts.

Earlier this week, Saskatoon's public school board passed a motion calling on Bedford Road Collegiate in the city to change its team name from "Redmen."

There is no timeline on the promised change for Western Canada and no decision on what the new nickname for the school's sports teams will be.

Davies said the school board will look at ways of helping Western Canada cover the costs associated with the name change. That includes new uniforms and changes to the logo painted on the floor of the school's gymnasium. 

Proud to Be campaign