Cougars Unveil Indigenous Nights Specialty Jersey

Cougars Unveil Indigenous Nights Specialty Jersey

January 24, 2023

By Olamipo Bandele

Meet Cecilia John, artist behind the specialty jersey for Cougars Indigenous Nights – a night celebrating local Indigenous culture. The jersey will be worn Saturday, January 28th when the Cougars host the Prince Albert Raiders.

Cecilia John is an Indigenous artist from Saik’uz First Nation. Cecilia is an author and illustrator of numerous children’s books. Her interest in Indigenous art and storytelling started early with a relationship with her late Atsoo and Atsiyan [Grandmother and Grandfather] who passed on the Dakelh (Carrier) language and culture to Cecilia, as well as her siblings and cousins. 

“I listened to my grandparents speak the language all the time. They showed me the ways of our land and our people. After going to a residential school as a child, I lost significant parts of my culture and identity. As an effort to reconnect to my roots, I began actively reaching out to Elders,  family to relearn the language and seeking out resources from communities,” explained Cecilia. 

Cecilia says that she’s been drawing since she can remember, and that it helps with creative expression. “I started drawing at a very young age. Throughout school you’re drawing, expressing what you see, feel and think. I started with cartoon characters, then it evolved into drawing figures and it became a part of me. I continue to practice art till today.”

It was Cecilia’s family who encouraged her to keep the culture alive and strong. “I brought myself to see relatives that practiced carving. I have to say a big thank you to my late cousin, Roy Casimir Jr. He spoke to myself and many others and encouraged that it’s very important to keep our culture strong. I listened to those words and it stuck with me. My grandparents – their words and encouragements – just believing in one makes it a lot more of a reality and how important our culture, our language, and our traditions are. I really love our culture.”

Her passion for creating Indigenous art led her to the opportunity to work with the Cougars. “When I got the news, I was honored to have the opportunity to design for the Cougars and to celebrate Indigenous Night.” Indigenous artistry and storytelling are one of the many ways people reconnect with their histories and legacies, and helps in keeping culture alive. The field of sports is no different. 

When asked about the inspiration behind the Cougars logo, Cecilia talks about how she noticed how wild animals interact with nature. “Wild animals have a unique relationship with their environment, and this bond is built on trust, respect and resilience. I wanted this logo to depict the strength and hard work of the hockey team, and I used animals’ totems to communicate these values.” 

The game-worn jerseys will be available to fans through an online auction. Please check the Cougars website for instructions on how to take part.


This article was part of our Jan/Feb 2023 Goozih Dust'lus Newsletter. To subscribe, click here.

Photo credit: James Doyle



SIGN UP for monthly Goozih Eblast

Related Pages

Related Documents

Press Releases

Last modified: Friday 12-Jun-20 15:43:45 PDT