The story behind Marc-André Fleury’s Indigenous-designed helmet

The Chicago Blackhawks needed to honour their Indigenous namesakes. Toronto-based Ojibwe artist Patrick Hunter explains the pondering behind the brand new helmet.

Final 12 months, when somebody working with the Chicago Blackhawks contacted Patrick Hunter through Instagram to ask whether or not the Toronto-based Ojibwe artist could be fascinated with working with the NHL staff to create a land acknowledgment, he wasn’t certain. “They only have loads of historical past round individuals not loving their emblem,” he says.

However he agreed to speak, and got here away impressed. They had been fascinated with altering the narrative round their emblem, highlighting the truth that Sauk warrior Black Hawk was a historic determine, he says, not merely a fictional mascot. “After the telephone name, I used to be like, okay, these guys have loads of integrity,” he says. “They’re fascinated with doing the onerous work as an alternative of simply arbitrarily altering their emblem to a black fowl. They needed to assist their followers educate themselves.”

The collaboration resulted in a land acknowledgement accompanied by a superb floral and feather motif by Hunter. And now, those self same parts bedeck a putting new masks designed by Hunter for Blackhawks goalie Marc-André Fleury.

“Hockey’s such a macho sport that I used to be a bit bit apprehensive that it wouldn’t be as well-received, as a result of loads of the imagery you see in hockey may be very ‘grrr,’ aggressive,” says Hunter. “This isn’t that.”

Click on, hover or faucet on the buttons to study extra about this one-of-a-kind helmet.

This text seems in print within the March 2022 problem of Maclean’s journal with the headline, “Minding the Blackhawks.” Subscribe to the month-to-month print journal here.

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