The Calgary Stampeders will observe Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation with a brand new logo designed by several local indigenous artists.
The logo will be sported on Stampeders’ helmets when they travel to Hamilton to face the Tiger-Cats on Sept. 30. The team will also wear orange jerseys during the pregame warm-up in honour of residential school survivors.
The special logo, designed by Richard Running Rabbit, Jacob Alexis and Siksika Health Services (SHS) CEO Dr. Tyler White, re-imagines the classic Stampeders horse in the style of contemporary plains-style traditional art.
“There’s always pressure as Native people, we want to represent our people well, as well as produce something that people are gonna like and wear,” said Richard Running Rabbit, a member of Siksika Nation who also works for SHS.
“I think we did a really good job on that.”
Designed by Jacob Alexis, Richard Running Rabbit and Siksika Health Services CEO Dr. Tyler White, the basic concept for the special logo to be worn on the Stampeders’ helmets emulates the Contemporary Plains Style Traditional Art. <br><br>The symbols used are paint styles that would be… <a href=”https://t.co/jZDdlCKiDk”>pic.twitter.com/jZDdlCKiDk</a>
Some of the paint-style symbols included on the horse logo are a hand-print on the animal’s chest for fierceness, lightning bolts on its front legs for speed and agility, and spots on its hind quarters representing creation stories and teachings.
“We’re a plains culture out here in Calgary, and the horse is a big part of our culture,” said Running Rabbit.
“We got a chance to put some markings on the horse that had some cultural significance and tied it to the land out here.”
A braid will also run down the middle of the Stampeders’ helmets in remembrance of residential school students who were forced to cut off their braids when they attended those schools, said Running Rabbit.
“The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is an important part of the acknowledgement of the tragedies of the past and the ongoing process of atonement and healing,” John Hufnagel, Stampeders president, said in a statement.
“The Calgary Stampeders are proud to partner with the people of Treaty 7 and the Canadian Football League to participate in this observance.”
Running Rabbit said that while he thinks the Stampeders’ efforts to participate in the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a step in the right direction, he hopes viewers understand the healing doesn’t stop there.
“It’s more than just a day, it’s more than just an event,” said Running Rabbit.
“I hope [viewers] learn to understand the true history of Canada and some of the hardships, but also the beauty of Native culture.”
Fans can purchase T-shirts and sweatshirts with the special edition logo in the Calgary Stampeders online shop, with proceeds going to local youth programming in Treaty 7 First Nation communities, according to the organization’s social media accounts.