- The Calgary Stampeders will wear special Indigenous-themed helmets in the game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on September 30, marking the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
- Both teams are collaborating with local Indigenous communities for the design and proceeds from the merchandise will benefit Indigenous programs.
- The Stamps and Tiger-Cats will don orange-and-white jerseys during pre-game warmups, and halftime will feature a performance by world champion hoop dancer Lisa Odjig.
The Canadian Football League is a tapestry of cultures, and this coming September 30 will add another layer of depth to that rich history. The Calgary Stampeders and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats are taking an unprecedented step to honor Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Both teams will be doing so in their own unique ways, embedding Indigenous culture into the sport in a manner both symbolic and substantial.
Special Indigenous-Themed Helmets
On Sunday, September 24, the Calgary Stampeders unveiled a special Indigenous-themed helmet logo, designed by Jacob Alexis, Richard Running Rabbit, and Siksika Health Services CEO Dr. Tyler White. The design elements, deeply rooted in Contemporary Plains Style Traditional Art, encapsulate several intricate paint styles typically used for horses on significant occasions. These include lightning bolts to signify speed and agility, stripes for acts of valour, and feathers to either represent valor or coups.
Additionally, the helmets will feature custom numbers and a braid-style stripe down the middle, which depict the rich history and traditions of the Treaty 7 communities. According to Stampeders President John Hufnagel, “The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is an important part of the acknowledgment of the tragedies of the past and the ongoing process of atonement and healing.”
Hamilton Tiger-Cats Join the Observance
The Stampeders’ opponents, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, are also joining the observance. They have unveiled their own Indigenous-inspired logo, the proceeds from which will benefit the Hamilton Regional Indian Centre. T-shirts bearing the logo are already available for purchase on the team’s online shop.
A Unified Acknowledgement
Both teams have decided to wear orange-and-white jerseys during the pre-game warmups, standing united in acknowledging the tragedies related to residential schools. The halftime show will feature a drum circle and a riveting performance from two-time world champion hoop dancer Lisa Odjig.
Fan Engagement and Charitable Acts
Fans can also engage by participating in the Stampeders Foundation RE/MAX 50/50 raffle. Open from September 24 through September 30, the proceeds from the raffle will be directed towards youth programming in Treaty 7 communities. The raffle not only gives fans a chance to win the jackpot but also one of the 49 team-worn orange jerseys.
“In Siksika, we’ve received nothing but hospitality from Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation teams,” said Dr. Tyler White. “It’s such an honour to be able to share our Blackfoot artwork and culture with friends and community.”
As we prepare for the upcoming game between the Stampeders and the Tiger-Cats, the broader story here is one of unity, healing, and acknowledging a shared past. It’s a prime example of sports’ power to go beyond the field, bridging communities and driving social change.
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