Girl Guides of Canada (GGC) announced the Brownies are getting a new name.
In a release, GGC explained why they will be making this change, "Taking this step means we are creating more inclusive spaces where racialized girls in Canada can feel welcome and proud to belong in Girl Guides. With this change, we hope even more girls will see Guiding as a space where they can just be themselves."
GGC informed volunteers Tuesday morning that the organization will be changing the name of the branch that involves seven to eight-year-old girls, saying they are striving to be more inclusive.
“We have heard from racialized girls and former members that the name Brownies has caused them harm. Some do not want to be part of this branch because of the name,” read an email sent out to volunteers.
GGC CEO Jill Zelmanovits spoke about the change in a press release, “As the leading organization for girls and women in Canada, it’s critical that we listen to girls’ voices and take action when they speak up,”
GGC also stated they are changing the name of this branch to further remove barriers for belonging for racialized girls and women.
The organization also shared a video detailing the reason behind the name change.
Change is coming and GGC stated they have 2 undisclosed names that have been shortlisted and will be sent out to members later this month, members will be asked to select the name that they like the best and in January of 2023, a new name will be annouced.
GGC said that the names were developed in consultation with racialized girls in GGC, the National Indigenous Advisory Circle, community partners, and organizations, along with other stakeholders.
“Throughout this transition, the focus for all girls in Guiding remains on fun, friendship, exploring her world, and sharing new experiences, this will not change,” GGC said.
GGC is asking all members to not wear clothing with the Brownies name after September 1, 2023, when they are representing GGC
This will not be the first time the Brownies have undergone a name change, Lord Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Boy Scouts movement, who went on with his sister, Agnes Baden-Powell, to establish Guiding as a program for girls, originally named the branch “Rosebuds.”
The girls did not like the name, and the branch was changed to “Brownies” — which appeared in English and Scottish folklore as helpful, magical elf-like figures.
In Canada, the Brownie and Guides Promise has changed with its most recent change in 2010 where any mention of God or religion was removed.