What started out as an idea to showcase Indigenous culture quickly turned into more for professional curler Colin Hodgson.
He is also the owner of Dynasty Curling, an Indigenous company, the company responsible for the design of the Olympic uniforms for Team Canada.
“We were thinking in January, what did we want to represent for Canadian uniforms at the Olympics and how did we want Canada to be seen by the rest of the world? Hodgson said.
So, regarding the look of the sweaters, Hodgson, who was born and raised in Lacombe, Alta. – was inspired by his Métis heritage.
“Canada has a great Indigenous community and we haven’t had as much representation as I think it should be,” Hodgson said.
When the idea was executed by Curling Canada, the response was positive.
“We want to show that we are proud and have the values of Canada, and one of those big ones is inclusiveness,” said Nolan Thiessen, Executive Director of Marketing and Fan Experience for Curling Canada.
After getting the green light, Hodgson commissioned an Indigenous artist to design the uniforms.
In addition to the maple leaf, the red, white and black jerseys feature symbolic trees, eagle feathers and braided sweet grass.
Thiessen said in the spirit of truth and reconciliation, it was an easy decision to support the initiative.
“With this year not only all the world championships but also the Olympic and Paralympic Games, we wanted to do something special,” said Thiessen.
“It’s a small step forward for truth and reconciliation,” Hodgson said. “There must be a lot more ceremonies… what we need is to work together.
“Everyone needs to be collectively reached to achieve what I think we need in society. “
Hodgson competes in the Olympic Qualifying Trials in Saskatoon with Team Mike McEwen. He said that as much as he would like to win a gold medal, he mostly hopes to represent Indigenous culture to the world.
“I think the more conversations we can have and the more respect we can have, the more we’re going to start to come together, and to me that’s what it means to be Canadian,” he said.
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