The Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders will wear a special Indgienous logo on their helmets in their game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Saturday, September 30, which also marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada.
The Stampeders unveiled the new logo on their social media channels on Sunday, September 24. The horse logo was designed by Jacob Alexis, Richard Running Rabbit and Siksika Health Services chief executive officer Dr. Tyler White, and is meant to emulate Contemporary Plains Style Traditional Art.
The symbols used are paint styles that would be used for horses on special occasions including going into battle: Lightning bolts for speed and agility, stripes for acts of valour, paint around the eye for keen vision, feathers also for valour or to represent coups and the spotted hind quarter representing creation stories and teachings.
The handprint on the chest represents a fierce, fearless horse who would knock down enemies and bring the rider home unharmed.
The Stamps’ helmets will also feature custom numbers and a braid-style stripe down the middle of the red shell. The symbols inside the stripe and the numbers depict mountains and tepees, representing the people of Treaty 7, “the people by the mountains.”
“The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is an important part of the acknowledgment of the tragedies of the past and the ongoing process of atonement and healing,” said Stampeders president John Hufnagel on the team’s website. “The Calgary Stampeders are proud to partner with the people of Treaty 7 and the Canadian Football League to participate in this observance.”
“In Siksika, we’ve received nothing but hospitality from Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation teams,” said Dr. White. “The Calgary Hitmen, the Calgary Flames, and now the Calgary Stampeders. It’s such an honour to be able to share our Blackfoot artwork and culture with friends and community.”
The Stamps’ opponents on September 30, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, unveiled their own Indigenous-inspired logo last week. The logo will be printed on T-shirts, which will be sold through the team’s online shop with the proceed benefitting the Hamilton Regional Indian Centre.
Both teams will wear orange-and-white jerseys during warmups before the game at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton “in a unified acknowledgement of the tragedies of residential schools and as an unequivocal show of support for survivors and their families.” Halftime will feature a drum circle and a performance from two-time world champion hoop dancer Lisa Odjig.
Stampeders fans can win one of the pre-game jerseys through the Stampeders Foundation RE/MAX 50/50 raffle. Anyone who buys a ticket before 11 p.m. MT on Saturday, September 30, will be entered into the draw for a chance to win the jackpot and/or one of the 49 team-worn jerseys. Proceeds from the 50/50 raffle will benefit youth programming in Treaty 7 communities.