CFL’s Blue Bombers, Roughriders to Commemorate Orange Shirt Day With Special Pre-Game Jerseys – SportsLogos.Net News

CFL’s Blue Bombers, Roughriders to Commemorate Orange Shirt Day With Special Pre-Game Jerseys

Two of the Canadian Football League’s biggest rivals are once again coming together for a good cause.

Before their game in Winnipeg on Friday, Sept. 30, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Saskatchewan Roughriders will wear special orange pre-game jerseys to commemorate Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

The Bombers unveiled their jerseys on Thursday, Sept. 29, at IG Field in Winnipeg. They feature an orange base, with white collars, sleeve cuffs and side panels. They have white numbers on the front and back and monochrome orange version of the team’s logo on the sleeves.

Courtesy @Wpg_BlueBombers / Twitter

Above the front numbers, the jerseys also include an Ojibway phrase that roughly translates the Blue Bombers’ name: “GAA-OZHAAWASHKO-BAASHKIDEWISIGEWAAD” (“The ones who are Blue in the sky”).

Courtesy @Wpg_BlueBombers / Twitter

“This is unique and unprecedented in many ways and I’m thankful we are able to be a part of it,” Manitoba Keewantionowi Okimakanak Grand Chief Garrison Settee said at a press conference.

“This is like decolonization one step at a time. They were once trying to take away our language and now we’re promoting it. That speaks volumes of the team’s commitment to reconciliation. This is also reconciliation in action. It’s corporate responsibility stepping up and allowing Indigenous people to be involved in occasions such as this.”

The Roughriders, meanwhile, unveiled their jerseys on social media Thursday evening. They use the same template, but feature the team name in Cree on the chest: “KISISKACHIWAN OTEHTAPIWAK.”

The Bombers’ orange jerseys will be auctioned off after the game, with proceeds going to the Winnipeg Aboriginal Sport Achievement Centre. The Roughriders plan to raffle their jerseys off to benefit the Saskatchewan Roughrider Foundation’s Indigenous sports programs throughout the province.

Sideline staff from both teams will also wear orange shirts in support of the cause.

“As we reflect on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we hope that these jerseys will serve as a small symbol of our commitment to reconciliation and the work we’ve done and will continue to do moving forward as allies of the Indigenous community,” said Saskatchewan Roughriders president and CEO Craig Reynolds.

During the game, the Blue Bombers’ helmets will once again feature a star blanket logo that was created for the team last season by local Anishinaabe artist Dené Sinclair.

Courtesy @Wpg_BlueBombers / Twitter

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation — also known as Orange Shirt Day — “honours the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families and communities,” according to the Canadian federal government. It falls on Sept. 30 each year, and was declared a statutory holiday by the federal government for the first time in 2021, in accordance with one of the 94 calls to action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report.

Orange became a symbolic colour for truth and reconciliation because of the story of Phyllis Webstad, a residential school survivor:

I went to the Mission for one school year in 1973/1974. I had just turned 6 years old. I lived with my grandmother on the Dog Creek reserve. We never had very much money, but somehow my granny managed to buy me a new outfit to go to the Mission school. I remember going to Robinson’s store and picking out a shiny orange shirt. It had string laced up in front, and was so bright and exciting – just like I felt to be going to school!

When I got to the Mission, they stripped me, and took away my clothes, including the orange shirt! I never wore it again. I didn’t understand why they wouldn’t give it back to me, it was mine! The color orange has always reminded me of that and how my feelings didn’t matter, how no one cared and how I felt like I was worth nothing. All of us little children were crying and no one cared.

The Blue Bombers and Roughriders also partnered earlier this month to wear helmet decals commemorating the victims of a mass stabbing on the James Smith Cree Nation and the village of Weldon, Saskatchewan, over the Labour Day weekend.

Both teams wore the decals during their Labour Day Classic rematch — a game that’s become known as the “Banjo Bowl” — on Saturday, September 10. The decals included the letters “JSCN” in red on a white circle. Red is a colour of healing in the Cree culture.