I cannot remember the last time that forest history became a topic of controversy on the sports pages, though perhaps your memory is longer than mine.
The third CFL team to play in Ottawa, the RedBlacks (Le Rouge et Noir d’Ottawa), have just announced that their new mascot will be called “Big Joe Mufferaw.” Some may recognize the name as a Stompin’ Tom Connors song, but as the CBC reports, “some French-Canadians are upset [by the Anglicized name since it is a] translation from Jos “Montferrand,” who was a raftsman well known for his role in a fight against the Irish.” For more on the controversy, watch this short clip from Radio Canada.
So, what say you, gentle people? Should the RedBlacks have been more sensitive to the historic figure (or for that matter, their own fans in the Outaouais)? Before you chime in, do take a look at Jos Montferrand’s entry in The Canadian Dictionary of Biography, where we learn that the Montferrand character “came to embody the ideals, ethics, and aspirations of the French Canadian community.” Authors Gérard Goyer and Jean Hamelin also write that Jos Montferrand still awaits his historian or folklorist. “In the present state of research, it is impossible to distinguish clearly history from legend and to give their true proportions to both the voyageur and the figure of folklore.” Just in case you were looking for something to do…
Latest posts by David Brownstein (see all)
- What is the History of Logging Protests in British Columbia? Part Two - January 14, 2022
- What is the History of Logging Protests in British Columbia? - December 22, 2021
- Archival Donation: Western Forest Products - July 26, 2016
- In Celebration of International Day of Forests: A Forest History Archival Donation Guide - March 21, 2015
- The Cloud Will Not Remember Everything Forever: Some Thoughts Prompted by Another Forest History Archival Donation - October 6, 2014
- History mysteries at the Association of BC Forest Professionals Meeting - August 11, 2014
- June is Forest History Month: Special issue of the Forestry Chronicle. - June 6, 2014
- Archival donation: the Dr Hubert William Ferdinand Bunce fonds. - May 26, 2014
- Adventures along the archival commodity chain: the Truck Loggers Convention. - May 2, 2014
- A rare event: forest history on the sports pages. - March 30, 2014
An update as of April 1, 2014.
After receiving feedback on the naming of the Ottawa REDBLACKS mascot, the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) announced today that the mascot’s official name will be “Big Joe” in English and “Grand Jos” in French.
Mascot name modified
Mufferaw name sacked by Redblacks