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eskimeaux changes their name to Ó

Popular indie band, eskimeaux has made the decision to change their name to Ó. The decision comes after some deliberation within the band and guidance from Tanya Tagaq. Gabrielle Smith from Ó and Tayna Tagaq, a Canadian Inuit singer, explain their decision below. 

Gabrielle Smith's comments on the situation (Pitchfork):

We’ve been talking about changing the band name for a little over a year now. The band name is the gateway to the project and I never set out to make it controversial, hurt people’s feelings, or bring up a kind of hardship I haven’t personally had to endure.

As an adopted person I’ve struggled with finding an identity. I spent so many hours as a kid searching for information about my heritage and this was, unfortunately, the only term I came across for a long time. The only information I have about my birth parents is that my birth father is Tlingit and everywhere I looked for more information the word “eskimo” was commonplace. After a while it became too painful to look anymore, as everything I read had different information, and I hung onto what I was able to find and understand.

Talking to Tanya about this was what ultimately helped me make up my mind to change the band name. She and I have had really different struggles, but they don’t serve to diminish one another. She has a really important perspective that all Americans, who have a tendency to brush aside and not educate themselves or each other about the histories of indigenous peoples, would do well to listen to and learn from.

I had added the “eaux” to the end of my band name to illustrate the way I record; it’s a jumble of syllables combined to make a simple sound, “o.” Moving forward, this project will be called Ó.

Thumbnail Photo by: Richard Gin