Winnipeg South Minor Baseball has used the name “Chiefs” for its AAA teams for many years and there is a strong emotional tie to this name. Our players and coaches alike have been proud to wear it. In the past year our board has actively sought out the views of several leaders in the Indigenous community about our name. While these views have not been unanimous that our name is inappropriate, we have been made aware that many people in the indigenous community do find it offensive. Therefore, as a board we have decided to stop using the name “Chiefs” and take steps to find a new name.
At our first annual awards banquet in September, Kevin Chief commended our baseball community for welcoming him into it. At our board meeting in December, Prof. Niigaan Sinclair encouraged us to find a name that is respectful and inclusive. A name that all ball players and coaches in our community would be comfortable wearing.
Our AAA Handbook says that the C in “Chiefs” stands for character, class and commitment. It is these characteristics that we are embracing as we seek to move into the future with a new name. In Canada, we need to remember that “We are all treaty people” and we need to demonstrate our commitment to reconciliation.
Winnipeg South Minor Baseball hopes that by taking this small action we can demonstrate that we are a welcoming baseball community that is committed to doing its part.