Sunday, 21 June 2020

Make It Permanent

While this may be a stock photo of a barbecue in action, it was pretty accurate for the Father's Day celebration my family had last weekend. If you wondering why we did it last weekend rather than on the appropriate day of celebration, everyone was busy this weekend. And, as it turned out, Mother Nature decided to literally rain all over the festivities as the weather here couldn't figure out what it wanted to do. As a result, it was a low-key drop-in with my parents today on Father's Day as I paid respects to my dad. I hope you got the chance to pay your respects to the father figure in your life whether that father figure be biologically-connected to you and/or the man who guided you on this adventure called life!

With that being said, it was another big day in Canada as we celebrated National Indigenous Peoples Day today as well, and you may have seen a specific logo being used by a certain hockey team.
The Winnipeg Jets swapped their normal logo on all social media for the one designed by Indigenous artist Leticia Spence in honour of National Indigenous Peoples Day, and I have to say that I really want to see this logo used on more stuff by the Jets as time marches on. The logo was used by the Jets on warm-up jerseys prior their January 17 game as part of the second annual Winnipeg Aboriginal Sport Achievement Centre (WASAC) Night hosted by the Jets.

Spence, who hails from the Pimicikamak Cree Nation, said, at the time, that seeing her designs on an NHL jersey was "surreal", but I think that it shouldn't be as surreal as she states. Yes, there's still some awe in seeing one's design used by an NHL team as its logo, but I would hope that the Jets would maybe use Spence's logo more often as a way to honour the lands and people who called this great city home for so long before the Jets came to town.

As part of our coverage of Manitoba Bisons hockey games, Kyleigh Palmer and I ensure that we honour the lands and the treaties signed on these lands by the Indigenous Peoples who called the area where the University of Manitoba stands as their home by reading and recognizing the statement of that Treaty One agreement, but we need to amend our statement when doing so.

Currently, the full statement reads,
"The University of Manitoba campuses are located on original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene peoples, and on the homeland of the Metis Nation.

"We respect the Treaties that were made on these territories, we acknowledge the harms and mistakes of the past, and we dedicate ourselves to move forward in partnership with Indigenous communities in a spirit of reconciliation and collaboration."
In our efforts to include the respect we feel our Indigenous family, friends, and colleagues rightfully deserve, Kyleigh normally reads the first statement on the air prior to puck drop for all Bisons women's hockey games. However, because we're missing perhaps the most important part of that statement, Kyleigh and I will now read the full statement where we acknowledge and recognize the harms and mistakes that were made in order to show more respect for the Indigenous Peoples who called this city home. Without this recognition, we aren't really honouring the lands we're recognizing properly.

In saying all of this, I would encourage the Winnipeg Jets to put this logo on the sleeves of the Aviator jerseys that they wear to show their commitment to honour the Indigenous Peoples who once lived right where the BellMTS Centre currently stands. Further to that, I'd like to hear the Winnipeg Jets acknowledge and recognize the harms and mistakes made over the years by having their PA announcer also read a statement prior to each game. This recognition would show an immense amount of self-reflection by the team, would be an excellent way to honour our Indigenous Peoples in a respectful manner on a national and international stage, and would cost the team nothing in the long run for something that would be so well-received by the city and communities across Manitoba.

The catch here is that people seem to really like the logo, so the Jets may actually benefit from using it more. Spence's design does catch the eye with its pop of colour and its unique design, and that's exactly what any business wants from its logo.

Make it happen, Jets. There's virtually zero negatives in honouring the Indigenous Peoples of this land all season long, and it should definitely be for more than one night. Put the logo on the shoulders of the Aviator jerseys, and I might actually find some good with those jerseys. Heck, I might even buy one! But it shouldn't be hard to find a way to work this gorgeous logo into the everyday workings of the Winnipeg Jets.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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