Jets, Moose celebrate Indigenous culture with special logos
Logos incorporate the artwork and symbolism of several Indigenous cultures
The logos of Winnipeg's professional hockey teams have been given a redesign in honour of Manitoba's Indigenous communities and cultures.
On Saturday, the NHL's Jets will honour the Winnipeg Aboriginal Sport Achievement Centre with WASAC night, while on Sunday the Moose host Follow Your Dreams Day.
Both initiatives are part of the NHL's efforts to promote diversity and inclusiveness in hockey, according to True North Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Jets and the American Hockey League's Moose.
The logos, which incorporate the artwork and symbolism of several Indigenous cultures, were designed by Red River College graphic design student Leticia Spence, who is from Pimicikamak First Nation.
"When I was first asked, I was kind of elated. I was really excited because this is a pretty big opportunity," said Spence, who will experience her first Jets game in person on Saturday.
"It's going to be really, really cool to see my work up on the screens and stuff. That's what I'm looking forward to. It's going to be amazing."
I think it will help more Indigenous youth to really treasure their culture because it's a beautiful thing.- Leticia Spence, who designed the special logos
She applauded True North for making the move to celebrate the Indigenous community, saying it's an important step toward helping Indigenous and non-Indigenous people understand and learn from each other "and further develop our relationships in a positive direction."
"And I think it will help more Indigenous youth to really treasure their culture because it's a beautiful thing."
The redesigned Jets logo incorporates the medicine wheel shape and colours, along with geometric patterns to represent beadwork.
The Moose logo incorporates symbols and colours to represent heart and soul, as well as arrowheads. The style is based on the Woodland School Of Art, a genre of painting also known as Legend Painting or Medicine Painting.
The style was founded by Norval Morrisseau, a First Nations Ojibwe artist from Northern Ontario, who Spence says inspires her.
Her logos won't be on the players' game jerseys, but will be featured on T-shirts that will be sold at the games, with all proceeds going toward WASAC.
Any remaining shirts will continue to be sold at Jets Gear stores, with a portion of the proceeds going toward WASAC.
For WASAC night, the Jets will welcome 30 Indigenous youth from remote and northern communities including Lac Brochet, Oxford House, Pauingassi, and Shamattawa.
The full experience will include skating with Indigenous NHL alumni Reggie Leach, Jamie Leach and Daryl Stanley at Camp Manitou before heading to Bell MTS Place to take in the Jets game against the Ottawa Senators, where Indigenous country and folk singer Don Amero will perform the national anthem with drumming group Spirit Sands Singers.
The ceremonial puck drop will feature Indigenous youth and elders.
The Manitoba Moose Follow Your Dreams Day will bring in 500 Indigenous youth who will will have an exclusive opportunity to take part in a meet-and-greet session with Reggie Leach, Jamie Leach and Daryl Stanley before watching the Moose play the Milwaukee Admirals.
Moose fans will also be treated to drumming from the Spirit Sands Singers.