Forge Launches Indigenous Design For National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
With the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation fast approaching, three-time CPL champion Forge FC is recognizing the occasion with a good cause.
The Hamilton, Ontario-based club has a slate of plans to honour the day, including Indigenous-inspired t-shirts and hats with a club logo designed by Six Nations of the Grand River artist Kyle Joedicke. All proceeds will go to the Hamilton Regional Indian Centre.
An upcoming interview spotlight with the artist will showcase his work behind the initiative, and is expected to release later this week.
“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, who also designed a Ti-Cats version.
“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.”
The Tiger-Cats have also invited over 250 Indigenous youth to a match against the Calgary Stampeders on September 30, with matchday festivities including a drum circle and a performance from Lisa Odjig.
While Forge won’t have any Indigenous half-time events for its last regular season home games, the club will don orange shirts away to Halifax on the holiday itself, with the team aiming to set up some community-centric events with players.
All eight teams in the league will be orange shirts pre-game that weekend, while Vancouver FC will also host an Indigenous Culture match this Saturday.
“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.” added Hamilton Sports Group COO Matt Afinec.
While the day was declared a federal holiday, the Ontario Government has nixed it becoming a public one – and even had to go to arbitration for Ontario Public Services workers to get the holiday.
Given the provincial pushback, it’s great to see clubs like Forge FC take onus to recognize the importance of reconciliation and representation, something the Canadian Premier League itself has also been quite good with.
Fans interested in purchasing the Indigenous-inspired t-shirts can do so here.