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

drop and go ballot plymouth

It's too late to mail your ballot, but you can still vote. Here's how.

Voters can drop off their absentee ballot, vote early in-person or head to the polls on Election Day.

2019-12-11 f1rst Wrestling Hanukka Havok-Darin Kamnetz-154

Dusting itself off after virus blow, F1rst Wrestling returns to the ring this Sunday

Minnesota's premier independent wrestling company was on top of the world before the virus hit.


McDonald's is bringing the McRib back in December

It hasn't appeared on menus for eight years.

Apple Valley High School

2 more Twin Cities districts moving to distance learning for grades 6-12

The decision was announced as infection rates in Dakota County rise.

covid-19 testing site sign

Here are the 4 free COVID-19 testing sites in MN for the week of Nov. 2

People don't need to have symptoms or insurance to get tested for free.

minnesota zoo

Minnesota Zoo launches activities to get people embracing nature

The zoo is hosting a pumpkin scavenger hunt and a "Do the Zoo, Not Zoom Day."

teacher, coronavirus, covid-19, school, classroom

25 counties have COVID-19 infection rates associated with distance learning

County-level data is no longer the only source districts have to rely on to make informed decisions about which learning model to use.

Jason Lewis and Tina Smith

Election 2020 preview: Minnesota's Senate race

Incumbent Tina Smith will take on former Congressman Jason Lewis.

President Donald Trump

President Trump railing against capacity limits for Friday's Rochester rally

A contract with the city limits capacity to 250 people, but Trump says they were expecting 25,000.

st. paul shooting - oct. 30

Man injured as his gun goes off during pat-down search from St. Paul police

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating the incident.


Jackson Pfister

Medical examiner: Esko football player died of congenital heart disease

Jackson Pfister collapsed during a game Friday night.

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.

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.

Screen Shot 2020-06-11 at 12.30.29 PM

MN-based Anytime Fitness sorry for Wisconsin gym's 'I Can't Breathe' workout

The trainer behind the workout says it was mean to serve as a rallying cry.

Screen Shot 2020-06-29 at 11.54.13 AM

North St. Paul teacher being investigated for alleged racist behavior

The teacher has been placed on administrative leave.

Supporters want to vote on Sioux nickname change

North Dakotans do not appear willing to sit back and let the legislature change their university's nickname. They want voters to have a say.