Canadian curlers will show off both their Canadian pride and a celebration of indigenous spirit when they compete in the Beijing Games.
Curling Canada and its uniform partner Dynasty Curling, an Indian-owned company based in Manitoba, unveiled new uniforms that were designed in a collaboration between two-spirit artist Anishinaabe Patrick Hunter and designer Kevin Hurrie.
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Canadian curlers will wear the uniforms at the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the world curling championships for women in Prince George, BC, and the world curling championships for men in Las Vegas, among other international events.
“Getting indigenous artwork onto the world stage is a great victory for my people and my community,” said Hunter, who also designed the mask for Chicago Blackhawks goalkeeper Marc-Andre Fleury. “I am more than happy that this indigenous artwork is mine.”
The initiative is aligned with the spirit of Call to Action No. 83 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
There are four key design elements in Canadian uniforms, which will retain the traditional red, white and black color scheme. The front features the silhouettes of seven trees, inspired by the forests of Hunter’s Treaty Three, the homeland of Red Lake, Ontario. They represent the seven teachings of Grandfather sacred to the Anishinaabe people and important values in sport: love, humility, wisdom, courage, honesty, truth and respect.
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The sides feature four unique eagle feathers, one for each of the four members of the curling team. Eagles are revered in Anishinaabe and other First Nations cultures.
A braided sweet herb illustration, woven from cedar leaves, tobacco, and sage, the four sacred medicines used by many indigenous peoples to cleanse energy, adorns the inside of the jacket’s sleeves.
The maple leaf is the fourth element.
“(The uniforms) represent exactly what our sport and our country are all about, they send positive messages of inclusion and our athletes should be proud to wear them,” said Katherine Henderson, executive director of Curling Canada, in a statement. “The Canadian uniform is iconic in curling, and I can’t wait to see our teams wear it.”
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