Indigenous artists paint special hockey sticks to be awarded to world junior players at tournament

Four local artists from the Maritimes were selected to paint hockey sticks for the upcoming IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships in Moncton and Halifax.

For Mi’kmaw artist Lorne Julian of Millbrook First Nation, this opportunity is a dream come true.

Artists were called on about a month ago to make a unique design for the hockey stick that will be awarded to the MVPs from each game at the World Juniors.

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Julian, who was one of the selected artists, painted 20 sticks in about 100 hours. They include a design that they say has deep significance to their culture.

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“The eagle represents love as well as it represents protection and I have an orange heart in the middle of the bird,” she explained. “The eagle and that orange heart represent residential school survivors and those who didn’t make it home.”

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Mi’kmaw artist Lorne Julian was chosen to paint special hockey sticks to present to the players at the World Juniors in Moncton and Halifax.

The tournament’s local event lead, Grant MacDonald, says it’s important for the organization to integrate local customs with hockey’s roots.

“They all come from different backgrounds, have unique connections and stories to the game of hockey, and what we want to do is honor their work and therefore honor the traditions of Mi’kmaq stick carvings,” he said. .

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For Julian, it’s a full-circle moment. He is the grandson of Chief Joseph Julian of the Millbrook First Nation, who made hockey sticks in the late 1800s.

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“Then they were called Mi’kmaq sticks and they referred to the Mi’kmaq as expert woodcarvers,” he said.

He grew up playing the sport and says the opportunity to showcase his art on the world stage is an honor.

“I was really happy and honored and grateful when I found out,” he said.

– With file by Rebecca Lau

&Copy 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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