Kirk Brant stands by the Nepean Redskins football scoreboard in South Nepean Park Monday, July 4, 2011. Brant would like the team to stop using the term, Redskin, as it is a racial slur against Canada's First Nation people
Credits: DARREN BROWN/QMI AGENCY
The team was named after the NFL's Washington Redskins 32 years ago, but Ian Campeau, 31, is behind a movement to get the name changed. The term redskin is considered to be a racist description of natives.
Campeau, 31, belongs to the Aboriginal DJ collective, Tribe Called Red.
While he's a hockey fan, he says he doesn't hate football and doesn't have an agenda when it comes to his attack on the Redskins name, an offensive he began via e-mail a year ago.
"There's no other race in North America that's used in this way," Campeau, an Ojibway, said.
"I'm against all teams that use a race to marginalize or discriminate.
"Here we are in Ottawa and we're all using a word that is offensive. And you have to consider that the team is in a youth organization.
"I need to stress that I don't want the kids to stop playing football. And they should keep their past wins as the Redskins. Why not adapt a new, less offensive name? It doesn't have to happen tomorrow."
Campeau has a Facebook group with more than 800 followers and a Twitter account that's up to 1,400 followers.
He's also called on people to boycott the team's sponsors.
But some Aboriginals don't agree with Campeau.
"This whole thing is annoying," said Trevor Monaghan, who played football in Ottawa with the Carleton Ravens and Ottawa Gee-Gees.
He's also from the Cree Nation of Chisasibi and coached the James Bay team, which won both its games at the 6 Nations Challenge in Ottawa last week.
"It's not being used in a racist context. I don't find it offensive at all. It's not insulting ... it's been going on in sports for decades."
Redskins president Stephen Dean said he is unable to comment on the controversy. The team may need to raise $125,000 in order to rebrand, which could happen as early as next season.