Meet the BC artist behind the UNBC Indigenous Athletics logo – a first in Canada
You may have already seen the striking new alternative jersey from the University of Northern British Columbia for its Timberwolf sports teams.
The green and gold uniforms feature a bold design that reinvents the university’s existing Timberwolf logo from an Indigenous perspective. It is also the first time that such a logo in a Canadian post-secondary sport program has been designed entirely by an Indigenous artist.
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âWhen I saw this was when I found out it was the first Canadian university or college to do such a thing, I didn’t even know it until it came out,â artist Trevor Angus said. at Global News.
“When I saw the real kids come out on the field in the jerseys, that’s when it really hit me.”
Angus, a native of Hazelton and a member of the Gitxsan Nation, has been plying his trade for over four decades, first putting pencil to paper at the behest of a grade 4 teacher.
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Since then, his work has been shown in galleries in British Columbia and Canada and has been sought after by collectors around the world. He is also a successful jewelry maker.
This project may well be his biggest to date – and has spanned over four years.
Angus said after the university approached him, it took a year to conceptualize – followed by a delay as the university changed jersey makers, only to be delayed again by the onset of COVID -19.
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But the result was worth it – the culmination of a goal he set for himself years ago as a UNBC student himself.
âWe joked about it, because when I went to school there, I watched the basketball games live, and I said to a friend of mine at the time: “I wish I could make it my own,” so when the time came to do that it was really great, “he said.
Angus said he was honored to have the chance to design the new jerseys, which he says have both a personal connection and a connection to the north.
In addition to its wolf design, they also feature syllabic characters which translate to “En Cha Huna”, the UNBC motto of the elders of Dakelh (Carrier) interpreted as “respecting all forms of life”.
âI thought that was a really good way to respect the land that the university is onâ¦ it’s the University of Northern British Columbia and that’s where I’m from and I’m from. was a student there too, so it was so well suited, âhe said. noted.
âI think it symbolizes the relationship between Indigenous peoples and the University, which is definitely a very big relationship. I also had to bring up the fact that my father and his clan to which he belongs are the wolf clan at homeâ¦ Wolves are beasts of burden, they work as a team to do what needs to be done, and I always thought that it was a very good fit.
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In addition to strengthening the connection between the university and the Indigenous peoples of British Columbia, Angus hopes his artwork can also help advance the conversation about reconciliation in Canada.
It’s a conversation that needs to be grounded in the common recognition of humanity – and art can be one of many starting points, according to Angus.
âMy art really gets people to watch what I’m doing and they start to learn where I’m from and my story, and that’s part of my sharing – and sharing will always be important, whether it’s good or bad. things. We have to be aware of what people went through, âhe said.
âIt already brings people together. The media attention it got, I had so many non-native people come over and said it really opened their eyes to start looking at different ways to really admire and respect native culture.
While Angus has not been lacking in success in his career as an artist, the overwhelming reception of UNBC design could yet open a whole new chapter for his work.
He said he had previously had discussions with two minor hockey teams, including his hometown Hazelton Wolverines, to draw pictures.
As a hockey fan himself, he says he would love to see his work on the sport’s biggest canvas in British Columbia.
âI thought a lot about the Canucks logos and masks,â Angus said with a laugh.
âI had a lot of people who raised me, I should also wear Thatcher Demko (the Canucks goalie) helmet.
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