Olympic moosehide gloves

The traditional moosehide gloves were handmade by Gina Neyelle and Betty Takazo of Deline, N.W.T. (Sue Wright)

Two N.W.T. Olympians heading to Sochi, Russia will not only be clad in Canada's colours but also northern culture.

Speed skater Michael Gilday and biathlete Brendan Green have each been given a pair of handmade gloves and moccasins — gifts from the territorial government.

It's a gesture to bring the athletes luck, but also to draw attention to one of the territory's oldest industries.

"They are absolutely gorgeous," says speed skater Michael Gilday"Just having them with me will remind me of where I am from and remind me of the people at home that are supporting me and encouraging me all the way to the finish line," 

Olympic moosehide moccasins

These moccasins were made by Camilla Tutcho who is also from Deline, N.W.T. (Sue Wright)

The moose hide gauntlets and moccasins have the territorial crest beaded on them and are trimmed with beaver fur, materials northerners have relied on for generations.

The territory commissioned three artists from Deline, N.W.T. to make the gifts. 

Gina Neyelle was one of them. She says many people in Deline wanted to get a close up look at the gifts and touch them for good luck.

Francois Rossouw  hopes others around the globe admire them as well. He markets the territory's Genuine Mackenzie Valley fur label and was surprised to find out Team Canada's uniforms, made by The Hudson's Bay Company, don't include fur.

"I found that really insulting considering that Canada is the largest wild fur producing country in the world," says Rossouw. 

But people won't be able to spot the gifts on television. The athletes are only allowed to wear clothing provided by Team Canada's sponsors to media events.

Gilday plans to show them off during his down time in the athletes' village.

"It's good for people to realize that traditional economies are still going strong and being practised in responsible ways," he says.