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Sports Manitoba senior hockey team changes Indigenous name to Bombers

01:55  21 october  2020
01:55  21 october  2020 Source:   msn.com

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A senior hockey team in rural Manitoba that has resisted calls to change its offensive team name in the past announced Tuesday it's considering making the change Calls resurfaced in July for the Morden senior hockey team to drop its name , which is considered a slur toward Indigenous peoples.

The general manager for the hockey team told CBC News earlier this week it is having internal discussions and will announce soon what it plans to do. Last week, Morden's mayor said the name of the community's senior hockey club is offensive and urged the club to drop its moniker.

MORDEN, Man. — A senior hockey team in a small Manitoba city has changed its name following a push against the use of Indigenous names and caricatures as mascots.

text © Provided by The Canadian Press

The Morden Bombers are ready to start the season in new jerseys decked out with a giant black, white and red "B" logo, team president Brent Meleck said Tuesday.

"We are going to try and put the best product we can on the ice and make it enjoyable for everybody to come watch.

"Maybe we will get more fans out."

The team in Morden, 100 kilometres southwest of Winnipeg, was previously named the Redskins, a derogatory term used to describe Indigenous people.

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The senior hockey team in the small city of about 10,000 in southern Manitoba is named the Morden Redskins. The name was chosen about 25 years ago “We have a good number of Indigenous folks in our community,” he said. “The time has come and gone when we can continue to offend them with

The following is a list of ice hockey teams in Manitoba , past and present. It includes the league(s) they play for, and championships won. Current teams . Former teams . †Includes win by the Flin Flon Bombers of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. Hockey Manitoba .

The team’s logo was also a stereotypical Indigenous man with four feathers in his hair, a replica of the controversial logo of the National Hockey League's Chicago Blackhawks.

A statement from the team's executive in August said the former name of the team was discussed with members of the organization and the community.

It said the history and pride ingrained in the organization would be carried forward with a new brand.

The move to change the name came soon after Washington’s National Football League team committed to changing the same name in July.

That same month, Edmonton’s Canadian Football League team decided to change its name from the Eskimos. And the Manitoba junior men’s hockey team in Neepawa announced it was dropping its name, the Natives, as well as its Indigenous mascot.

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From 1955 through 1964, 10 straight years, the Winnipeg Maroons were Manitoba ’s only senior A hockey team . It was automatic, they represented Manitoba in Allan Cup playoffs. In 56-57, when the Maroons did not compete, Manitoba had no representative.

Hockey Manitoba is the governing body of amateur ice hockey in the province of Manitoba , Canada. Hockey Manitoba was founded in 1914 as the Manitoba Amateur Hockey Association and is a branch affiliate of Hockey Canada.

“To us, our logo has always represented community, camaraderie, commitment and perseverance. These are the values we have defended when challenged,” the team’s statement said in August.

It added that not all members of the community found the team's name inclusive or appropriate and that the team has a better understanding of how the name and logo can be perceived.

“We wish to represent every citizen of Morden and made the decision to make changes moving forward,” the statement said.

Morden's senior hockey team chose the previous name about 25 years ago. A motion to city council to change the name in 2015 failed.

Mayor Brandon Burley wrote a letter to the South Eastern Manitoba Hockey League team’s leadership over the summer requesting the name and logo be changed.

“We have a good number of Indigenous folks in our community,” he said at the time. “The time has come and gone when we can continue to offend them with something as simple as a hockey team name.”

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While the history of colonization and marginalization is not unique to the Americas, the practice of deriving sports team names , imagery, and mascots from indigenous peoples of North America is a significant phenomenon in the United States and Canada.

The mayor said he would support any associated costs through fundraising efforts and his own personal finances.

The Bombers name had been used by a now-defunct hockey team in the area previously. Meleck said that history meant it was quickly supported by players and the community. The logo was designed by local youth hockey players and approved by Hockey Manitoba.

Meleck said he wasn't concerned about possible confusion with the Canadian Football League Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

He said it has been a quick turnover but sponsors have stepped up to ensure the team's legacy will continue.

"We are going to move forward," Meleck said.

"As society went and everything went it was time for a change."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 20, 2020.

— By Kelly Geraldine Malone in Winnipeg

The Canadian Press

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