October 26, 2011

"Eskimo" = slur in Canada

More on the story reported in "Talking Eskimo" Wheat Board Video:

MP apologizes for 'Talking Eskimo' video

Anti-wheat board cartoon on David Anderson's website denounced as slur against Inuit peopleInuit find the word offensive

Karliin Aariak from Iqaluit says seeing the word Eskimo used in the context of the video is degrading. CBCIt's not just opposition MPs in Ottawa that are upset by the use of the word Eskimo.

Karliin Aariak is Inuit and lives in Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut.

She was embarrassed and shocked to hear about the video.

"Seeing the video and hearing the word Eskimo being used in the context of this video is degrading to Inuit and is obviously putting us down as a people and making us sound as if we are stupid and should not be used," said Aariak.

The word Eskimo has not been used in Nunavut for years now. It was replaced by the politically correct word Inuit by its people.
Comment:  I thought the main problem was using the phrase "talking Eskimo" to belittle the Inuit language and culture. But I guess people are reacting solely to the word "Eskimo."

I didn't realize "Eskimo" was quite that disliked in Canada. Some Alaska Natives still use it to describe themselves.

For more on the proper terminology, see "Eskimo" vs. "Inuit."

1 comment:

dmarks said...

I didn't know it was a slur either, but if it gets phased out I will go along with that.

For now, commonly, it is not in the same league with the N-word or r**skin.

This dictionary does not view it as offensive or derogatory (quite unlike the N-word and r**skin)