BY Chris Cobb - Ottawa Citizen, Photo Credit: Bruno Schlumberger
The Nepean Redskins football club’s board of directors will officially announce Friday that they will change the club’s name.
The club has been under fire from across Canada for what critics say is an outdated, racist reference to native people.
But the Redskins had resisted the change, saying there was never any intent to offend any group.
Ottawa musician Ian Campeau, an Ojibway, filed a complaint with Ontario Human Rights Tribunal three weeks ago asking them to order the National Capital Amateur Football Association to change the names of all Redskins teams in its association and to scrap logos that depict the cartoon figure of a native man.
“If it was the Blackskins or Yellowskins this wouldn’t even be a conversation,” Campeau, 32, told the Citizen “But for the Redskins I have to file a human rights complaint. It’s ludicrous.”
Campeau said today that he was delighted with the club’s decision.
“But I’d like to know whether they did it because of the controversy, or because they think it’s right,” he said.
Campeau, member of the band A Tribe Called Red, has offered to perform a concert to raise money to help defray costs of changing the name.
“If they reach out to me I will do it,” he said today. “But I’ve been waiting for two years for them to reach out to me.”
Club treasurer Evelyn Torley told the Citizen Thursday that the club’s primary concern is for the children who play for the club and the parents who have paid for the season.
The majority of parents are against the name change, she said. “But it is what it is, we’ll move on.”