The Girl Guides Of Canada (GGC) have announced that they are officially getting rid of the name "Brownies," the name of the branch for 7-8-year-olds within the group.
"We have heard from racialized girls that this name has caused them harm and is a barrier to feeling welcomed and respected at Girl Guides," said the Instagram post.
"We cannot cause harm to any girls, so we are taking action by changing the name to create a space where all girls feel welcome and included."
"The names that we use in Girl Guides matter," they shared. "But girls matter more."
The other names for the branches in GGC are Sparks (ages 5-6), Guides (ages 9-11), Pathfinders (ages 12-14), Rangers (ages 15-17) and Adults (ages 18+).
GGC also posted a short video to YouTube using the metaphor of catalysts to explain the rationale.
"Sometimes a catalyst is the start of something new. With a bit of water, this seed grows into a tall tree," said the video along with an image of a seed blossoming.
"Sometimes a catalyst is a person, using their voice and actions to create a tide of change made possible because it is supported by a whole community," it continued.
"We've heard from these catalysts, youth, racialized folks, current and former Girl Guide members, who've told us that the name 'Brownies' causes harm. We are sorry."
The comment section on both the YouTube and Instagram posts has been disabled, but on Twitter, people had some opinions.
While some do not support the name change, others shared poignant stories of how important change is.
"It was hurtful to me when I was 6-7 years of age, as the only Melanated child, most of the White girls would taunt me and say 'She really is a Brownie!' They thought that was funny as hell. Haven’t thought about this in years," wrote one person.
"We had over 100 rocking years on Brownies. Now it’s time once again to listen to the voice of girls telling us they’re ready for change. This organization has gone through lots of change for the better & there will be lots more to come," said another.
Current members will help pick a new name to replace "Brownies," which will be announced in January of 2023.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of racism, or if you are interested in learning more about how you can fight racism in your community, refer to these supports and resources across Canada.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.