Nova Scotia

Lingan Golf Club to keep logo with Indigenous imagery, but plans compromise

The Lingan Golf Club in Sydney has decided not to change the 110-year-old logo depicting an Indigenous person wearing a headdress superimposed over a map of Cape Breton. But it will become less prominent around the club.

'They're doing the bare minimum, unfortunately,' says Bryson Syliboy

The Lingan Golf Club in Sydney. (Facebook)

The Lingan Golf Club in Sydney, N.S., is standing pat, at least for the most part.

The club has decided not to change its logo, which depicts an Indigenous person wearing a headdress superimposed over a map of Cape Breton.

The century-old logo was called into question back in February when Bryson Syliboy, a Mi'kmaw man living in Port Hawkesbury, tweeted his disapproval to more than 2,700 followers.

The club's board, a volunteer group made up of 12 members, met in May and discussed the matter.

Moe Brygidyr, the club's president, said the board decided against changing the logo, but a few things will change.

"What we have decided to do was not to display the logo as prominently as we have in the past," he said. "For example, our next year's clothing supply will not have the logo on it."

Brygidyr said the board kept the logo because of the historical significance of the name Lingan. 

The golf course was originally established in 1909 in Dominion, N.S., near Lingan Bay. A Mi'kmaw settlement in the area was once called Harvre de l'Indienne by the French. According to historical records, "l'Indienne" was mispronounced as "Lingan" by English speakers, and the name stuck.

The course was then moved from Dominion to its current location on Grand Lake Road.

The club currently uses the logo on the course, on stationery, clothing and signage. 

Logo will still be on stationery

Brygidyr said that the logo will remain on the club's stationery and "less prominent" places around the course. 

Bryson Syliboy wants Lingan Golf Club to remove native imagery from its logo. (Bryson Syliboy)

"We have members on our course, that belong to our course, who are Indigenous," he said. "And we are cognizant of the fact that the logo is there and what it depicts. But for us, it depicts that symbol of leadership and historical significance."

He said they are not ignoring the complaint that was launched and hopes that this will serve as a compromise. 

"We are quite proud of the logo," he said. "The logo itself is not a caricature but rather a very nice, I think, depiction of the logo."

Syliboy, who is from Sipekne'katik First Nation, said Lingan's decision to keep the logo is not in the spirit of reconciliation. 

"It's an inaccurate depiction of an Indigenous person here in Miꞌkmaꞌki ... It's a caricature of what the stereotypical Indigenous person looks like," he said. 

"I'm very disappointed in Lingan for sticking with the racist logo. I think that it's time for change. And they should be in the forefront of that change, and they should address the Indigenous people here in Nova Scotia." 

Syliboy said he will continue to pressure the club about the logo.

"It's kind of like the bare minimum. They're doing the bare minimum, unfortunately."

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