Petitions gain support for and against Esko 'Eskomos' nickname

The district hasn't said if it is considering a name change or not.
Author:
Updated:
Original:
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

All Energy Solar Residential Installation

End 'renting' from your utility company and go solar

A solar installation is one of the few home improvements that actually pays for itself.

Byron Buxton

Twins talking contract extension with Byron Buxton

The Twins are 88-38 over the past two seasons with Buxton in the lineup.

minneapolis police

Police arrest man in connection to deadly Minneapolis hit-and-run

The victim died the scene in north Minneapolis on Friday.

Jordan Greenway

Wild's fast start vanishes in loss to Coyotes

Arizona scored five unanswered goals in a 5-2 loss.

Screen Shot 2021-03-06 at 4.12.00 PM

Police seeking tips in search for road rage shooting suspect

The incident took place in Maplewood last week.

Paige Bueckers

Paige Bueckers lands on Wooden Award list for women's college basketball

The Hopkins grad is the only freshman on the 15-player ballot.

Related

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.