Redskins name scrapped by Ottawa minor football club
Team changes name to Nepean Eagles for 2014 season after public outrage
The Nepean Redskins youth football team in Ottawa has officially changed its name to the Nepean Eagles after public outrage.
The organization has already changed its website in anticipation of its 36th season in 2014 and a statement on its website says there will be new jerseys and helmets, and a new scoreboard for this upcoming season.
“We now embark on the next phase of our great club with a new name and colours,” read the statement from the football club’s president, Steve Dean.
“There is certainly one big advantage of having an NFL namesake … easy access to clothing, jerseys, hats and other swag.”
Dean added the jerseys would soon be available at the Source for Sports store in south Ottawa’s Barrhaven neighbourhood.
In September, Dean announced the club would change its name because it was “offensive” and “divisive” to the community.
Public outrage backed by Ojibway DJ
The team had also been under community pressure to make the change, which mounted when Ojibway musician Ian Campeau filed a human rights complaint against the team.
Campeau, a member of electronic group A Tribe Called Red and father of two, has said he'd been trying to get the team to change its identity for several years.
"It's about the entitlement of being able to label an oppressed people, to call somebody they have no ties to... that word,” Campeau said in the fall.
The team believes the transition could take a few years and cost more than $100,000 to complete. Campeau has offered to help raise money.
The team has been known as the Redskins since 1981, in alliance with the Washington Redskins of the National Football League. The Eagles name will be in alliance with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles.
This name change could confuse some local residents. The East Nepean Eagles are an Ottawa youth baseball organization that reached the Little League World Series last summer.