September 19, 2023 – Canadian Football League (CFL) – Hamilton Tiger-Cats News Release
As part of Hamilton Sports Group’s ongoing commitment to local Indigenous communities, the organization unveiled Tuesday, plans to observe the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
This includes Indigenous-inspired logos for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Forge FC designed by Indigenous artist Kyle Joedicke, who is Cayuga from Six Nations of the Grand River, Turtle Clan.
“I wanted to remain true to the identity of Hamilton and the identity of the teams while incorporating a style of art that is intrinsically Indigenous and very specific to our culture.” Said Joedicke. “The most important part of this is visibility. It shows that Indigenous people are a part of the sporting community in Hamilton, just as Indigenous people are a part of every community in Hamilton.”
“Truth and Reconciliation is vital for Canadians and it’s important for our organization to do its part to recognize the tragedies of the past and the impact that is still being felt by Indigenous communities today.” Said Matt Afinec, President of Business Operations and COO, Hamilton Sports Group.
Additional plans to observe the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation include:
In a unified show of support for the survivors of the residential schools and in acknowledgement of the impacts that are still being felt to this day, the clubs unveiled t-shirts featuring the Indigenous-inspired logos. The shirts can be purchased hereand all proceeds will be donated to the Hamilton Regional Indian Centre.
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats will host the Calgary Stampeders on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, September 30, 2023 and there will be various elements incorporated into the gameday presentation at Tim Hortons Field. The Tiger-Cats have also invited over 250 Indigenous youth and families from local communities including Six Nations, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and surrounding communities to attend the game.
Pre-game, all dressed players will wear orange and white jerseys in a unified acknowledgement of the tragedies of residential schools and as an unequivocal show of support for survivors and their families. Select jerseys will be available for purchase in the Ticats shop at a later date, with proceeds benefitting the Hamilton Regional Indian Centre.
The club will welcome back former defensive lineman John Macdonald, as the club’s Alumnus of Distinction. Macdonald, who is Mohawk, Wolf clan from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, played three seasons for the Tiger-Cats (2002-04) and now works as a teacher at Pauline Johnson Collegiate & Vocational School in Brantford, where he also coaches the school’s football team.
At halftime, there will be a special presentation, including a drum circle and a performance from renowned hoop dancer Lisa Odjig.
CONTENT AND CONVERSATION
Both clubs will be showcasing an interview later this week with Indigenous artist Kyle Joedicke, who designed both clubs’ Indigenous inspired logos, speaking to his creative process in designing the logos and the significance behind the initiative. The interview will be posted to the Ticats and Forge FC social channels later this week.
ONGOING BUILDING OF RELATIONSHIPS
“While the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is important, we must recognize that this is more than a one-day commitment. We are proud of the strides that our organization has taken to provide more inclusive community initiatives, such as our Play it Forward program for Indigenous youth.” Said Courtney Stephen, Director of Community Partnerships, Hamilton Sports Group.
Play it Forward is a sports camp hosted at Tim Hortons Field that provides hundreds of youths from local Indigenous communities, including Six Nations, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and surrounding communities, a unique experience with the Tiger-Cats, including mentorship opportunities with Ticats players and tickets to games throughout the year.
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