Nova Scotia

Cape Breton Eagles to wear Mi'kmaw-inspired jerseys on Friday

In honour of their 25th Anniversary, The Cape Breton Eagles will be partnering with Membertou first nation. The Eagles will be wearing jerseys and socks designed by Membertou.

Attire is part of team's first annual heritage game, which honours Cape Breton's history and culture

Gerard Shaw, president of the Cape Breton Eagles, is shown with a jersey that will be worn on Friday night. (Matthew Moore/CBC)

The Cape Breton Eagles will be wearing socks and jerseys at Friday night's game designed to replicate the regalia of Membertou First Nation Chief Terry Paul.

The attire is part of the team's first annual heritage game, which is meant to celebrate Cape Breton's history, culture and industry.

"They've been a partner of the Cape Breton Eagles for so long, and we just thought they would be a fantastic kickoff and they were ecstatic when we approached them about it," said Courtney Schriver-Richard, general manager of business operations for the Eagles.

The national anthem before the game will be performed in Mi'kmaq. There will also be performances by Membertou community members during the intermissions.

Schriver-Richard called partnering with Membertou "a no-brainer."

Jersey has culturally significant details

The colours, patterns and design on the new jersey are culturally significant to Mi'kmaw people.

"The colours are taken from the medicine wheel, which contains the four colours: red, black, yellow and white," said Paul. "The colours represent the four directions: [north, south, east and west], along with spiritual and physical, emotional and mental health."

Images of the jerseys were released online and have attracted lots of positive feedback.

Schriver-Richard said she's shocked by the reception, but she's also not surprised.

"Everywhere I turn, people are asking how they can get one," she said. "So, you know, we did something right and Membertou did something right and we're really excited about it."

Online jersey auction

The jerseys will be auctioned off online for two weeks with all proceeds going to Membertou.

Schriver-Richard said the hope is each jersey sells for at least $200, but she expects some jerseys will go for much higher. She said Membertou deserves the recognition for the jersey's popularity.

Paul said he's happy with the attention the jerseys are getting.

"We've got really good positive feedback [from] the people that have seen it," he said. "I feel enough pride in where we're showing the public what part of our culture is."

Friday's game is against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.

Paul said the community of Membertou will be there to support the Eagles and will make its transit buses available for people who need a ride to the game.

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