Cape Breton school to remove ‘Redman’ name, ensures team names culturally respectful

Riverview High School in Cape Breton, N.S., will be removing the name ‘Redman’ from its hockey program in the fall of 2019.

The name is considered a racial slur used against Indigenous people.

But a spokesperson for The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional Centre for Education, Michelle MacLeod, said the name, which was chosen about 50 years ago, did not refer to First Nations people.

“It did refer to the jersey colour and the candy cane socks the teams wore,” MacLeod said.

She said when the name was created, “a consultation process occurred with community leaders from our First Nations communities. At that time the name was not found to be offensive.”

Other sports programs at Riverview high school will also be re-branded, including the basketball, soccer and volleyball teams.

“As we move forward, the school recognizes that the name can be offensive and it is time for a re-branding process of all team names to occur,” said MacLeod.

“The goal of the school is to ensure that all team names are culturally respectful.”

Macleod said the school’s students and staff are also working to educate themselves on the history of First Nations people.

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