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


Hospital chiefs say nursing strike will come at 'worst possible time'

A nurses union announced an almost three-week strike to take place in the Twin Cities.


Sven Sundgaard: What's in store for MN's weather in December?

Sundgaard recaps Minnesota's fall and looks ahead to December.


Manure spill in Wisconsin leads to hours-long main street disruption

The spill was first reported just before 7:30 a.m. Tuesday morning.


Ice Cube to perform 2 nights at Mystic Lake Casino

The rapper hasn't performed in Minnesota since 2018.


Nicollet Mall's new Ties Lounge & Rooftop closes 'indefinitely'

The establishment aimed to reconnect the downtown community.

Screen Shot 2022-12-01 at 9.15.44 AM

Chinese restaurant closing after 50 years in Columbia Heights

The beloved family-owned restaurant will close Dec. 24.

Screen Shot 2022-12-01 at 9.43.40 AM

Kris Laudien leaving KARE 11 after four years on 'Sunrise'

KARE 11 announced the appointment of Jason Hackett to the morning show this week.


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.