High school alumni rally to save 'Redmen' team name
Western Canada High School set to drop the name and logo over concerns it is offensive to aboriginals
Alumni from a Calgary high school are banding together to preserve the name and logo of its sports teams.
The graduates of Western Canada High School say they don't want the “Redmen” name ditched in favour of something less controversial.
Earlier this month, the Calgary Board of Education decided the name must be changed after consulting with a council of aboriginal elders from the Treaty 7 area.
The term "Redmen" is considered an offensive reference to North American aboriginal people, and board spokesman Calvin Davies says there’s strong support among students, parents and school staff to change the name.
But Roger Takaoka, class of 1950, said there has not been enough consultation.
"It's an injustice to over 60,000 students who went to Western Canada High School in my opinion,” he said.
“I'm not a very happy camper and a lot of my fellow graduates are the same. I've had a few phone calls and people didn't leave their names, but they were irate.”
He and other alumni are continuing to meet with school officials in a bid to stop the name change.
Brett Farrell, who graduated in 2012, started a Facebook page arguing that the board was too hasty in its decision.
"It isn't being used in a derogatory way. We've never been offensive. And it's extremely misguided and disappointing that they're proceeding with this,” he said.
CBE officials were unavailable for an interview but said in an email that “the selection and implementation of a possible new name at any school will honour the traditions of that school.”