After several months of reflection, the Cégep de Granby has decided to undertake a name change process for its sports teams. This process, which will take place between June 2022 and May 2023, will be led by an advisory committee composed of staff members, student-athletes and community members. Initiated via a contest to find a new name during the fall of 2022, the process is expected to conclude with the unveiling of a name and new emblem for the athletic teams during the spring of 2023.
This decision was made with a view to participating in the reconciliation process with First Nations. The current team name “Inouk” is an Inuit word and is perceived by many, including First Nations representatives, as cultural appropriation. “Even if we believe that the choice of the name at the time was probably made with an intention of “cultural appreciation”, we do not wish to instrumentalize the identity of a people. The intention of our approach is to develop a new identity for the teams by drawing inspiration from what characterizes the region and the Cégep de Granby,” commented Isabelle Giard, in a press release. Giard is the director of student affairs and community services at the Cégep de Granby and the person in charge of the initiative.
The process that will be initiated in the coming weeks is the result of a collective reflection that began last fall. The cegep held its first Aboriginal Cultures Week from Nov. 1 to 5, 2021. A dozen activities, both in-class and virtual, were offered to students in order to make them aware of the reality of Quebec’s Aboriginal peoples. “Since reconciliation requires education, the cegep wanted to do its part by offering conferences and activities on a variety of subjects related to Aboriginal people,” said Joannie Daigneault, a teacher who initiated the theme week and member of the advisory committee.