Redskins name draws human rights complaint in Ottawa

An Ottawa DJ and member of A Tribe Called Red has filed a human rights complaint seeking the minor football team, Nepean Redskins, to change its name claiming it is racist to First Nations peoples.

Ian Campeau, DJ with A Tribe Called Red, seeks name change 'on behalf' of his daughter

An Ottawa man has filed a human rights complaint against the Nepean Redskins Football Club in an effort to get the minor league team to change its name.

Ian Campeau, an Ojibway man who is also a member of the DJ group A Tribe Called Red, sent out a news release Tuesday saying he made the claim on behalf of his five-year-old daughter.

Campeau said he is not asking for compensation, but instead wants the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal to order the National Capital Amateur Football Association, which fields teams at various age levels using the Redskins name, to change the name and logo.

The logo includes a cartoon depiction of a native man.

"The players call each other 'redskins' on the field," wrote Campeau in the release

"How are they going to differentiate the playing field from the schoolyard? What's going to stop them from calling my daughter a redskin in the schoolyard? That's as offensive as using the N-word."

Campeau also wants a policy drafted on the use of indigenous identities and imagery in sports.

NCAA has rule against native names

The National Collegiate Athletic Association, or NCAA, banned the use of native names and symbols 10 years ago for American colleges and universities.

The Nepean Redskins were known as the Barrhaven Buccaneers but changed to their current name in 1981. (Nepean Redskins)

The only exception is when a First Nation has given consent, such as the "Seminoles" of Florida State University.

The National Football League does not have such a rule, though, with the Washington Redskins continuing to exist.

Campeau said he has proposed a five-year period to phase in a new name and logo for Nepean's football teams. He also said he offered to work with the Redskins on possible solutions, but the football club has not responded.

"I've proposed many different options to change this offensive, hurtful and non-inclusive situation. It's marginalizing, dehumanizing and racial profiling. If my daughter wanted to play football, or even watch it, she wouldn't feel welcome," Campeau said in the release.

The human rights claim has support from Shawn Atleo, the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, and the Native Women's Association of Canada, according to the news release.

Campeau is receiving pro bono legal support for his claim, the release added.