Girl Guides of Canada will no longer be using the name "Brownies" to describe the organization's branch for 7 and 8-year-old girls to prevent "harm" to racialized participants.
Brownies, originally called Rosebuds, was organized by Lord Baden-Powell in 1914. The name was changed after the girls complained.
The name comes from the story "The Brownies" by Juliana Horatia Ewing, written in 1870. In the story, two children, Tommy and Betty, learn that children can be helpful brownies instead of being lazy boggarts.
A brownie is a household spirit, similar to a faerie, from Scottish folklore that is said to come out at night while the owners of the house are asleep and perform various chores and farming tasks.
"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," Girl Guides of Canada said in a press release.
Although Girl Guides of Canada claims inclusivity as a reason to pivot from Brownies to a yet-to-be-decided label, in 2021 they imposed a proof of vaccination policy that saw the expulsion of unvaccinated volunteer troop leaders and girls.
GGC dropped the proof of vaccination requirement in September 2022.