Media Coverage

"There will continue to be racism in society...If only we could get an injunction against that."

Monique Jilesen is quoted in the National Post article Why is it OK to call a team ‘Indians’? A good question, but not one for the courts by Christie Blatchford on October 17, 2016.

October 18, 2016

The first question Ontario Superior Court Judge Thomas McEwen asked was of Monique Jilesen, lead lawyer for the renowned aboriginal architect Douglas Cardinal, and it went like this: “What will the game look like if I grant this application?”

...

[Douglas Cardinal's] lawyer, Jilesen, had concluded her opening argument by saying that Cardinal wasn’t seeking a sweeping order that would prevent the game from going ahead or cause a vast loss of revenue, merely small changes so that “indigenous people can watch it with a minimum of racist imagery.

“There will continue to be racism in society,” she said. “If only we could get an injunction against that. But we can’t.”

In reply, perhaps sensing she was fighting a losing battle, Jilesen made the argument she said she struggled with all day, the one she didn’t want to make. “If there were a similar depiction of Jews, Muslims, African-Canadian people and you used the name … you could not call a team the New York Jews.

“Why is it OK to call a team the Cleveland Indians?”