Soo Greyhounds announce Indigenous Heritage Night
Sault Ste. Marie, ON – The Soo Greyhounds Hockey Club is proud to announce their Indigenous Heritage Night, presented by Gen7 Fuel, which will take place on Saturday September 30th, 2023, when they host the Brantford Bulldogs at the GFL Memorial Gardens (7:07pm game time).
As part of the game night, the Greyhounds will wear Indigenous inspired jerseys created by Ojibway Woodland artist Thomas Sinclair. The jersey design includes Sinclair’s interpretation of an ancient red paint pictograph at Agawa Bay, a powerful spiritual being called “The Great Mishupizhu”. The logo also features the word “Bawating”, the Anishinaabe name for the land also known as Sault Ste Marie.
The game worn Indigenous Heritage jerseys will be auctioned off after the game with the funds raised being donated to the Indigenous Friendship Centre’s Mental Health and Addiction Services programs.
Bidding is OPEN NOW, to place a bid please complete the form at the bottom of this page. Online bidding will be open until Saturday September 30th at midnight.
In-person bidding will be available at the games on Friday September 29th and Saturday September 30th.
In addition to the jersey auction, fans can also support the cause by purchasing a limited-edition Indigenous Heritage t-shirt. T-shirts are $24.99+HST (adult) and $19.99+HST (youth) with $5 from every purchase going towards the fundraising campaign. Indigenous Heritage t-shirts can be purchased from the Hound Pound or online at thehoundpound.ca.
The Hound Pound will have special hours three days this week – Tuesday, September 26 – Wednesday, September 27 and Thursday, September 28 from 12 PM to 4 PM.
On behalf of our entire organization, we invite our friends, families, neighbours, and community members to join us for this special event.
Tickets for the game are on-sale now at the SK Group Box Office located inside GFL Memorial Gardens during regular business hours of 10 AM to 5 PM Monday to Friday, 10 AM to 2 PM Saturday, 10 AM through game time on game days or online anytime at www.gflgardens.ca.
About the Indigenous Friendship Centre:
The Indigenous Friendship Centre in Sault Ste. Marie (IFCSSM) was incorporated in 1972.
The Friendship Centre Movement (FCM) is the country’s most significant off-reserve Indigenous service delivery infrastructure. Friendship Centres are not-for-profit and charity corporations that are mandated to serve the needs of Urban Indigenous People by providing culturally appropriate services in Urban communities. Friendship Centres are governed by a volunteer Board of Directors consisting of elected members. They are membership driven organizations in Urban communities that serve all Urban Indigenous People, regardless of status. Every Friendship Centre is managed independently from the OFIFC and offers supportive programs and services that are needed in their community; as well as providing a place of acceptance and well-being for Indigenous peoples. As every Friendship Centre is located in a different geographical location, the needs of each community differ as well. The dynamic staff and volunteers from each Friendship Centre provide up to as many as 20 programs for Urban Indigenous people, with services covering the full spectrum of the life cycle.
About the Artist:
Thomas Sinclair is an Ojibway Woodland artist from Couchiching First Nation. Sinclair grew up in Thunder Bay where he was mentored in the Woodland style by the late Isadore Wadow.
Now, as a resident of Sault Ste Marie (SSM), Sinclair spends his days painting, inspired by Aadizookaan, the sacred stories told by elders. “I’m nomadic, but this is the place I always come back to. With all the pictographs and creation stories here, I feel like SSM is a very important place spiritually and culturally. The longer I stay here, the more I learn about the land and the art in the area. All the Canadian masters have stayed here. To be an artist, I want to be where all the great artists have been.”
For Sinclair, much of his artwork has been healing, not only for himself, but for his people. In October 2021, he took an intensely emotional and spiritual journey to honour the 2,500 year old remains and artifacts of his ancestors, which now rest at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. He painted a pictograph of seven thunderbirds on an exterior wall of the museum with authentic pictograph paint—he’s one of the few artists who still knows how to make such paint. The birds represent the seven clans and form a circle representing a star formation called The Pleiades or the seven sisters. It’s known in Ojibway culture as Bagonageezhik or the hole in the sky. “Because the burial mounds have been dug up, my ancestors have to stay in the museum,” he explains through tears. “It’s really painful, but this was a way to make some peace with it. The thunderbirds show my ancestors the way home through the hole in the sky so we can move forward—hopefully in a more healthy and peaceful way.”
Sinclair has also participated in the Sault’s Summer Moon Festival. You can find Sinclair’s murals on Bay Street (816 Bay) and King Street (27 King) featuring his signature bright colours with Woodland symbols.