Tomorrow night the Maple Leafs will be honouring Indigenous people and culture with their Indigenous Celebration game against the Detroit Red Wings.
As part of the game, the Leafs will be wearing special jerseys during warm ups designed by an Indigenous artist.
Meet Tyler Tabobondung Rushnell, the artist behind our Indigenous Celebration game warm up jersey & logo pic.twitter.com/F3SCJHtAQc
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) January 6, 2023
In my opinion these jerseys are absolutely beautiful and would love to see the Leafs or teams take the next step to incorporate work like this into game jersey design more frequently, but the fact that the Leafs will be wearing a patch bearing the design during the game is a nice touch.
“Animkiig (‘Thunderbirds’) are among the most powerful spiritual beings in Anishinaabe (‘Ojibwe) cosmology. They maintain a special, protective relationship to Anishinaabeg (the Anishinaabe people). Although they are invisible forces, Animkiig reveal themselves through stories. The Thunderbird is also a legendary creature in certain North American Indigenous People’s History and Culture. It is considered a Supernatural being of Power and Strength.The Ojibwe Floral represents the Beauty of The First Peoples on Turtle Island. Floral work was beaded onto a lot of significant items and keep sakes. Also the respect for nature to love and live it in its natural beauty.
The grey designs inside the Maple Leaf crest and players number on the Maple Leafs warm up sweaters are Tyler’s Anishinaabe designs.
The Leafs will also be auctioning off the jerseys and selling Indigenous inspired merchandise through Real Sports, with proceeds benefiting the Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre.