Skip to main content

Petitions gain support for and against Esko 'Eskomos' nickname

The district hasn't said if it is considering a name change or not.
Esko Eskomos

One of the few remaining controversial high school nicknames in Minnesota is on the debate table as thousands of people have signed petitions for and against Esko Public Schools' "Eskomos" moniker. 

A petition promoting a name change was recently created by Karin Anderson, who asked people in Esko Township and the surrounding Duluth area to support changing the nickname due to it being similar to the term Eskimo, which she says in her petition is a "racial slur used against Indigenous people." 

"Saying Eskomo is no better than Eskimo," Anderson argues, adding that the "watered-down version of the word is still offensive, not to mention that using indigenous people as a mascot is dehumanizing and racist."

"Among the civil unrest of our country, we can no longer pretend that our school’s mascot is harmless so I propose we change it to something better," Anderson added. 

According to the Alaska Native Language Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the current term used in Alaska and across the Arctic is "Inuit," while 'Eskimo' is "fading from use."

This month, the NFL's team in Washington, D.C., rid its longstanding "Redskins" nickname while the Canadian Football League's team in Edmonton dropped its "Eskimos" nickname. 

"While many fans are deeply committed to keeping the name, others are increasingly uncomfortable with the moniker," Edmonton's team said. 

A competing petition that aims to keep the "Eskomos" moniker was started by Alex Bourgeault, whose petition argument is made in five words: "It really ain't that deep."

The petition to change the name has around 2,300 signatures compared to approximately 1,700 people signing the petition to keep things as is. 

The Minnesota State High School, as noted in a 2018 story by MPR, has long stood against Indian mascots. The movement has resulted in dozens of schools changing Indian-related nicknames to the point that only a handful remain, including the Sleepy Eye (Indians), Benson (Braves), and Warroad (Warriors).

Next Up

Pixabay - hospital emergency room sign

Deputy injured when fleeing suspect crashes into his vehicle

The 34-year-old deputy was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital.

Vineeta Sawkar

Vineeta Sawkar named as WCCO Radio’s new morning host

She succeeds the legendary Dave Lee, who retired earlier this year.

coronavirus, COVID-19 test

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, December 7

The latest from the state health department.

no dancing

Footloose! Duluth scraps Prohibition-era ban on unlicensed dancing

Establishments had to have a license to allow the public to dance.

ted mann concert hall - university of minnesota

2 armed suspects rob victim at U of M concert hall

The two suspects pointed guns at the victim.

West St Paul, Minnesota - June 2019

Nine police agencies called in for crowd control after 2 shot in West St. Paul

Police say a large group "attempted to take control" of part of the crime scene.

Brooklyn Center police, Daunte Wright

Brooklyn Center approves $1.3M public safety budget, including policing reforms

The city will use some money from the police department for the new programs.

snow, slush

Snow impacting morning commute across southern Minnesota

A quick inch could make a bit of a mess on the roads.


Minnesota United star allegedly hit teen with gun in Argentina

The 26-year-old could face charges in Argentina.

Chris Finch

Hawks bury Timberwolves in 3-point barrage

Without D'Angelo Russell, the Wolves couldn't keep up with the Hawks.

P.J. Fleck, Gophers football

Kirk Ciarocca returning to Gophers as offensive coordinator

The architect of the 2019 offense will look to revive the Gophers.


protesters, George Floyd, protest

MN mayor resigns after sharing meme of violence against protestors

The mayor of eight years said his sharing of the meme was taken out of context.

Jackson Pfister

Medical examiner: Esko football player died of congenital heart disease

Jackson Pfister collapsed during a game Friday night.

Owatonna Police Department

2 students charged after racism dispute at Owatonna High School

The charges are related to an altercation at the school on Feb. 11.

Screen Shot 2020-06-10 at 9.33.00 AM

County commissioner walks out before moment of silence for George Floyd

The commissioner said he was attending to a personal matter.

Gia Vang

Police investigating racist threats against KARE 11 anchor's father

The incident is said to have taken place in St. Paul on Friday morning.