Monday, April 03, 2017
Toronto: When traditional names foster a "hostile environment"
I think the only "hostile environment" is in this guy's head
Brad Gallant, a member of Qualipu Mi’kmaq First Nation, is at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario demanding the City of Mississauga stop supporting sports teams with names and logos he insists are “insensitive to the ancestry of indigenous people.”
At issue are five minor hockey teams which play in Mississauga: The Mississauga Reps and Braves, whose logos are similar to the Chicago Blackhawks; the Mississauga Chiefs, which uses an arrowhead in its logo; the Meadowvale Mohawks; and the Lorne Park Ojibwa. Since Gallant lodged his complaint two years ago, the Meadowvale team has changed its name to the Hawks and Lorne Park has merged with another club to become the Lorne Park Clarkson Wild.
Gallant first e-mailed the city in February 2015 asking them to stop subsidizing the teams with discounted ice time until they changed their “offensive” names. He no longer wanted his kids to have to play on hockey clubs that used caricatures of their heritage or in arenas with banners and trophies with logos that created “a hostile environment.”
According to Michael Cleland, area manager with Hershey facilities, sports and community development for Mississauga, it was the first request of its kind they’d ever received.
City staff held a sit-down meeting with Gallant on March 18, 2015 and explained that sports teams operated independently of the city. They choose their own names and logos. Mississauga simply facilitates the ice time and the municipality’s policy clearly states that it takes “no responsibility for the decisions made” by these groups.