Hockey body will ‘up­date’ logo with help of Tsuut’ina

Calgary Herald - - CITY -

Indige­nous lead­ers have been asked to con­sult on a new em­blem for the North­west War­riors af­ter con­cerns were raised about a mi­nor hockey team’s logo.

The Crowchild Hockey As­so­ci­a­tion has an­nounced it will “up­date” the logo in con­sul­ta­tion with Tsuut’ina af­ter the par­ent of a seven-year-old girl told Post­media her daugh­ter re­fused to wear the team’s cur­rent jersey fea­tur­ing a First Na­tions “war­rior” wear­ing feath­ers.

“North­west War­riors lead­er­ship has met with Chief Lee Crowchild of the Tsuut’ina Na­tion, and will be work­ing in part­ner­ship with the Tsuut’ina to up­date the North­west War­riors logo,” the as­so­ci­a­tion said in a state­ment Fri­day.

“We look for­ward to work­ing with Tsuut’ina to de­velop up­dated im­agery hon­our­ing Chief David Crowchild while con­sid­er­ate of our mem­bers and the com­mu­ni­ties we serve.”

The cur­rent logo was crit­i­cized for per­pet­u­at­ing of­fen­sive stereo­types about Indige­nous peo­ple as “blood­thirsty sav­ages,” sim­i­lar to crit­i­cisms lev­elled at the Chicago Black­hawks, whose logo is nearly iden­ti­cal.

The as­so­ci­a­tion has main­tained the cur­rent logo, along with the names of the Crowchild Twin Arena and the Crowchild Hockey As­so­ci­a­tion, are in­tended to hon­our for­mer Chief David Crowchild.

Ac­cord­ing to the as­so­ci­a­tion, Tsuut’ina Chief Lee Crowchild and his fam­ily have in­di­cated their sup­port for the con­tin­ued use of the ex­ist­ing logo un­til a new one can be im­ple­mented.

It may take up to three years for the ex­ist­ing jer­seys to be re­placed, said Bryan Boech­ler, pres­i­dent of the North­west War­riors.

“The North­west War­riors is com­mit­ted to find­ing ways to speed up the im­ple­men­ta­tion with­out putting un­due fi­nan­cial hard­ship on our mem­ber­ship,” he said.

The move is not an un­prece­dented one in Cal­gary. In 2014, Western Canada High School dropped the deroga­tory name ‘Red­men’ from the school’s ath­let­ics teams.

The de­bate over the War­riors’ logo echoes con­cerns raised about other pro­fes­sional teams ac­cused of mis­ap­pro­pri­at­ing Indige­nous images.

“When you’re talk­ing about war­riors, it’s per­pet­u­at­ing that stereo­type that Indige­nous peo­ple are blood­thirsty sav­ages and to be feared. That was the jus­ti­fi­ca­tion that was given to cre­ate the In­dian Act and res­i­den­tial schools,” Mount Royal Univer­sity pro­fes­sor Jennifer Pet­tit told Post­media ear­lier this month. “It’s time we move past these out­dated mas­cots. They’re cer­tainly not re­spect­ful of Indige­nous peo­ple or cul­tures.”

LEAH HENNEL

The con­tro­ver­sial logo at Crowchild Twin Arena in Cal­gary.

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