PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. — The University of Northern British Columbia says it has became the first college or university athletic program in Canada to unveil an alternate logo and jersey designed completely by an Indigenous artist.
The new look for teams at the Prince George, B.C., university was revealed this week at a ceremony attended by UNBC Timberwolves athletes, team and university officials and the jersey designer, Gitxsan artist Trevor Angus.
Angus attended the university from 2000 to 2003, and says he was thrilled to be asked to take on the project because he had mulled a redesign of the jerseys while attending basketball games during his student years.
He reinterpreted the existing gold and green Timberwolves logo, created custom Indigenous piping along the sides of the soccer and basketball uniforms and added an additional wolf design that sits beneath the main logo.
The university's motto, in the Dakelh language, is written across the shoulders of each jersey and means "respecting all forms of life."
The soccer version of the new jerseys makes its debut this Saturday against the visiting Thompson Rivers University, while the Timberwolves basketball team wears the uniform in a game on Nov. 6.
Loralyn Murdoch, the University of Northern B.C.'s director of athletics and recreation, says the collaboration between Angus and the school's different organizations and donors was "amazing."
“The sense of pride that I hope every student-athlete feels when they put on this uniform is something that they will remember forever,” Murdoch told those attending the ceremony at Prince George's Masich Place Stadium on Wednesday.
Angus says he had a vision of his design even before he began the work.
“I loved the whole wolf theme that was already there, and I worked on that. I always thought of the wolf as an animal that works in a pack, or a team, so I thought it was such a good fit,” he said.
He says he was surprised to hear that a First Nation design hadn't been done at another Canadian university or college, "so I am really proud to hear that, of course."
The uniform redesign shows respect for the territory the university sits on, Angus says.
Murdoch says the detail in each uniform is a "story to be heard."
"I hope it is a story our athletes, our university and our community cannot wait to tell.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 21, 2021.
Ethan Ready, The Canadian Press