Thunder Bay

City of Thunder Bay issues apology over mascot name

The City of Thunder Bay is renaming a mascot designed for its 50th anniversary celebration after backlash.

Community to be involved in renaming

The City of Thunder Bay said it will involve the community as it chooses a new name for a mascot designed for the city's 50th anniversary celebration. (Matt Prokopchuk/CBC)

The City of Thunder Bay is renaming a mascot designed for its 50th anniversary celebration after receiving backlash.

In a Facebook post, the city said a committee had approved the mascot, a bird named Thunder. It was unveiled on Friday.

However, the response prompted the city to apologize for the name the next day, and issue a statement regarding the mascot's inception.

"A general bird character was selected by the committee for the mascot," the city said in a Facebook post. "The bird was named Thunder as part of the launch to reflect the city's name."

"In light of the recent comparisons of the mascot to a Thunderbird, and recognizing that the Thunderbird is sacred in certain indigenous peoples' history and culture, the committee will select a new name for the mascot and make revisions to the creative campaign."

The city added the community will be given the opportunity to be involved in the naming.

Development of the mascot cost $5,000, the city said.

The original Facebook post in which the mascot was unveiled has been deleted.

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