News / Ottawa

Nepean Redskins should change 'racist' name, charges Ojibway musician

A member of local band A Tribe Called Red says its high time the Nepean Redskins football team change their name.

"The name would be the same as calling a black man the N-word. It's extremely derogatory," said Ian Campeau, a.k.a. Dee Jay Ndn. "As First Nations we haven't had a civil rights movement yet. That's why society lets the Redskins name slide."

Campeau, an Ojibway of the Nipissing First Nation, said he started making calls for the name change last year after a friend told him about the local youth team. "I joined their Facebook group, jumped on and started challenging them about it," he said.

Trying to negotiate with the team via email, Campeau said, he was met with silence. So on July 25 he geared up his campaign by calling for a boycott of local businesses such as Gabriel Pizza and Baizana Insurance who support the team.

The move got Scotiabank to pull its funding last week, Campeau said. Yet Nepean Scotiabank branch manager Mary Voteary said she couldn't comment to confirm whether funding was pulled.

Now Campeau is feeling the backlash. On Wednesday August 22, Chez 106 radio host Randall Moore called Campeau's charge that the team has a racist name "a ludicrous assertion" on his morning talk segment One Minute Moore. The topic was addressed again on Thursday's segment.

"A racist organization? Give me a break," Moore said. "These businesses are singled out, vilified, for what? For giving kids a chance to be part of a team?"

Moore's comments led to an eruption of comments on the Chez 106 website and Facebook page. Yet Moore's rant misses the point, Campeau said.

Moore's comments led to an eruption of comments on the Chez 106 website and Facebook page. Yet Moore's rant misses the point, Campeau said.

"I don't want them to not play football. I'm pretty flexible in the name change," he said. "If it takes five years, fine. They just need to start phasing it out now. I understand it takes time and money."

Campeau said that Moore should have him on his show to talk out the issue. "If I get to talk to people about it," he said. "I think they'd understand."

"I have no comment. I've got to go," said Nepean Redskins Vice-President Barry Helps when asked to weigh in.

"I just want to sit down and talk to the organization, but they don't want to respond," Campeau said. "They seem totally happy with having a racist moniker."

"My point is, would you call someone you don't know a redskin?"

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Redskins team photo by Mike Carroccetto for Metro