Girl Guides of Canada to rename Brownies after hearing that the name causes harm

TORONTO — Girl Guides of Canada plans to rename Brownies, saying that it has heard from several current and former members that the name has caused them personal harm.

CEO Jill Zelmanovits says they are changing the name to further remove barriers to belonging for racialized girls and women.

The organization says the change will take effect in September 2023.

Brownies -- the section of Girl Guides for girls ages seven and eight -- teaches outdoor safety, camping fundamentals, gardening, building with tools, and conflict management while fostering healthy friendships.

Girl Guides of Canada says it is consulting with racialized members to determine a new name.

Founded in 1910, Girl Guides of Canada has taken steps to be more inclusive in recent years by allowing trans girls to participate in the program in 2015 and administering new T-shirt uniforms in 2019.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 15, 2022.

The Canadian Press