The Canadian Football League’s northernmost team will henceforth be known as the Edmonton Elks.
The Edmonton football team unveiled its new name and logo on Tuesday, after pledging in July 2020 to change the name used since its founding in 1949. The move followed years of criticism from some Inuit that the name was derogatory and offensive.
After receiving more than 2,000 suggestions for a new name, the club distilled that list to seven choices and tasked fans with ranking them. The survey regarding the new name received 38,761 responses. According to the team, Elk was “highly favoured” among all demographic categories while players and coaches also “overwhelmingly voted” for the name.
After consultation with linguistic experts, an “s” was added to Elk. The football franchise said the new moniker “reflects the speed, strength and resilience” of the team and northern Alberta.
“Rebranding a team is hard. Rebranding a team with 100 years of history is even more challenging and we worked hard to meld that history with something new and meaningful,” Chris Presson, president and chief executive of the Edmonton Elks, said in a statement.
In February, a representative for the Edmonton football team told Cabin Radio they hope to continue a northern engagement program that saw players visit NWT communities and classrooms. Seven communities in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region have expressed interest in programming.