'Redmen' no more: Calgary high school becomes the 'Redhawks'
Jesse Tahirali, CTVNews.ca
Published Thursday, June 26, 2014 8:28PM EDT
The end of the school year will also mark an end to some controversy for one Calgary high school.
After a decade’s worth of discussion, Western Canada High School decided to do away with their "Redmen" moniker, a name many considered racially insensitive. In the fall, students will return to school as the "Redhawks," officials announced today.
"The name honours our past achievements and traditions," school principal Kim Hackman said in a release. "It’s a strong and positive symbol that reflects the spirit of our school community and will serve us well in the years to come."
The change follows a year-long consultation with students, staff, parents, alumni and members of First Nations communities, according to the Calgary Board of Education. In a release, the board called the name the “clear choice of students and staff at the school,” who picked from a list of five possible mascots.
Hackman said the cost of the replacement would total about $200,000. He said the school is in the process of redoing the gym floor and walls, purchasing new sports jerseys and other various changes.
The switch isn’t a first for a Canadian high school. Bedford Road Collegiate in Saskatchewan dropped the "Redmen" mascot earlier this year, also opting to be known as the "Redhawks."
The mascot modernization comes at a time when the NFL’s Washington franchise faces pressure to drop their Redskins name, though team owner Dan Snyder has insisted on keeping it.
With a report from CTV Calgary’s Jamie Maraucher