What started as an idea to showcase indigenous culture quickly became much more for professional curling iron Colin Hodgson.
He also owns Dynasty Curling, the company in charge of designing the Olympic uniforms for Team Canada.
“We were thinking back in January, what did we want to represent for the Canadian uniforms at the Olympics and how did we want Canada to be perceived by the rest of the world?” Hodgson said.
So when it came to what shirts should look like, Hodgson, who was born and raised in Lacombe, Alta. – was inspired by his Métis heritage.
Olympic curling uniforms feature indigenous design
“Canada has a beautiful indigenous community and we haven’t had as much representation as I think we should be,” Hodgson said.
When executing the idea by Curling Canada, the response was positive.
“We want to show that we pride ourselves and have Canadian values, and one of those greats is inclusion,” said Nolan Thiessen, executive director of marketing and fan experience for Curling Canada.
After receiving the green light, Hodgson commissioned an indigenous artist to design the uniforms.
In addition to the maple leaf, the red, white, and black T-shirts feature symbolic trees, eagle feathers, and braided sweet grass.
Thiessen said that in the spirit of truth and reconciliation, it was an easy decision to support the initiative.
“Since this year was not only all the world championships, but also the Olympic and Paralympic Games, we wanted to do something special,” said Thiessen.
“This is a small step toward truth and reconciliation,” Hodgson said. “There needs to be many more ceremonies … what we need is to work together.
“It takes everyone collectively to achieve what I think we need in society.”
Hodgson is competing in the Olympic qualifying trials in Saskatoon with team Mike McEwen. He said that as much as he would like to win a gold medal, he mainly hopes to represent indigenous culture to the world.
“I think the more conversations we can have and the more respect, the more we’re going to start coming together, and to me, that’s what it means to be Canadian,” he said.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.