“The motto “En Cha Huna” is truly important, and encapsulates our spirit of academic freedom, respect for others, and our willingness to recognize all perspectives. To have it on the jerseys, and displayed in syllabics is very special. The design of the uniforms is beautiful, but those elements make us particularly proud.”
The Timberwolves athletic program has built a tremendous relationship with UNBC’s First Nations Centre. The graduating student-athletes are gifted traditional drums, which are built by younger TWolves, under the watchful eye of Elders and Indigenous staff. Additionally, the student-athletes make trips to underserved communities throughout Northern British Columbia to hold camps and sports days.
Prior to today’s announcement, the UNBC student-athletes met with UNBC’s Manager of Aboriginal Student Engagement, Bev Best, who explained the significance of the jerseys, as well as the traditional smudging ceremony each uniform received.
“Relationships take time, patience, and hard work if it is to be a true relationship,” said Best. “That’s what the First Nations Centre and Athletics have, and we continue to work towards a positive future for student success at UNBC. I feel fortunate to be a part of that.”
Those in attendance got their first look at the new jerseys in an incredible video produced by local production company 6ix Sigma, with the project led by former UNBC basketball player Daniel Stark. Essential to the content, and the project, was the music that accompanies the video. A custom song, provided by UNBC Elder in Residence Marcel Gagnon, was gifted to the Timberwolves, and provides a rousing and meaningful anthem to the day, and the relationship. Gagnon, who is a Juno Award-winning musician, as well as a member of Lheidli Chief and Council, also provided the voiceover work for the video.
“At UNBC we are so fortunate to have an Elder in Residence program. Marcel Gagnon is our current elder, and his wisdom and storytelling through song are some of the many things he shares with us,” said Murdoch. “Marcel is the voiceover on the video, and he created a Timberwolf song which he performed and has gifted to us. This is an amazing legacy from a truly outstanding man.”
The soccer version of the new jerseys will make their debut this Saturday, October 23rd against the visiting TRU WolfPack. The event will be the first annual “Nats’ilnik Day,” which is the Dakelh word for “coming together.” The Timberwolves basketball teams will have their first “Nats’ilnik Day” on November 6th, 2021 against the TRU WolfPack. Admission for both Nats’ilnik Days will be free.
“I think it is so awesome that UNBC has done this,” said Angus.” It shows such a respect for the territory that the University sits on.”
“The uniforms are absolutely gorgeous. The attention to detail and the meaning behind the detail is a story to be heard,” said Murdoch. “I hope it is a story our athletes, our university, and our community cannot wait to tell.”
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