Edmonton CFL Team Changes Nickname to 'Elks,' Replacing Prior Moniker

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The Canadian Football League's Edmonton franchise announced on Tuesday that it will be called the "Elks" going forward after dropping its prior nickname last July.

"With your input, much debate and deliberation, we came to the name we are proud to present today," club president and CEO Chris Presson said in a video. "It's been a long road. We've taken our time to make sure we got it right, and we know we did." ​

The 14-time Grey Cup champion said in a release last July that it would no longer be called the "Eskimos" and instead the team would be known as the Edmonton Football Team or the EE Football Team.

Last July, the team had said it has been involved in a three-year research and engagement process regarding the name change that included team partners and members of the Inuit community. 

It said Tuesday that the new name was "highly favored through all demographic categories," and also supported by players and coaches.

Its past nickname was considered an outdated, offensive term used against the Inuit people of Canada. In 2015, Natan Obed, the President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Canada's national Inuit organization, wrote an op-ed in The Globe and Mail calling on Edmonton to drop the name.

"The word Eskimo is not only outdated, it is now largely considered a derogatory term. It has never been our term," Obed said in the piece. "When Inuit mobilized in the 1970s to protect our rights, we started using the term Inuit to describe our people because that is our way of describing ourselves. No other society has a right to impose their terminology upon us." 

Edmonton's announcement last July came a week after the Washington football team said it was changing its name. The EE Football Team had used its previous name since it joined the CFL in 1949. 

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