McGill University holding referendum on changing team nickname
Indigenous imagery was part of Redmen team uniforms up until the early 1990s
Ross Montour says the time is right for McGill University to change its team nickname.
Montour, a chief on the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake, says that his First Nations community near Montreal would welcome McGill no longer calling its men’s sports teams the Redmen.
An online petition posted by the Students’ Society of McGill University has garnered nearly 10,000 signatures
and led to a referendum among the student body on the issue starting Friday.
“It’s a good time for that to happen,” said Montour on Wednesday. “I think it’s a healthy sign.”
McGill’s male teams are called the Redmen while their female teams are the Martlets.
Some alumni claim the Redmen name’s origin is either a tribute to the team’s red uniforms or the red hair of Scot founder James McGillBut through the 1950s, male and female teams were colloquially referred to as the “Indians” or the “Squaws” respectively. Several McGill sports teams used a stylized logo with an Indigenous male wearing a headdress in the 1980s until the school stopped using the emblem in 1992.
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McGill faced Duke in an exhibition game in August. GRAHAM HUGHES/THE CANADIAN PRESS