The Vancouver Canucks Orca team logo has come under fire.
This iconic logo, which was created in 1997 and proudly displayed on the player’s uniforms has recently been criticized by a University of Manitoba historian and Indigenous Studies Scholar and professor Sean Carleton who stated the Orca logo’s “Coast Salish-inspired imagery was designed without Indigenous consultation.”
He also believes the whale logo, which originated about three decades ago, and consisted of some artwork by Haida in it, is disrespectful to Indigenous people because the team continues in Carleton’s words, “Profit from branding that is appropriating their art style.”
Referring to the different sports teams in various professional leagues who have recently made amends by agreeing to change their team’s nickname to one which weren’t seen as possibly racist, Carleton went on to state,
“People will say, but Sean the imagery is a ‘sign of respect.’ How respectful is continuing to make piles of money from a business you operate on stolen land all the while branding that business with stolen imagery. That’s the logic of colonial capitalism for you.”
Meanwhile Carleton offered the Canucks organization an effective strategy for going ahead and creating an eye- catching logo.
“At the very least, the Canucks should… work with Indigenous peoples to develop inconography in appropriate ways, giving Indigenous artists a platform and a way to participate and benefit.”
The Canucks, who broke into the NHL in 1970, have in recent years played a handful of games wearing their alternative third jerseys which didn’t include the Orca logo on them.
Backing up the Canucks franchise was Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, who claimed that the NHL organization had a positive relationship with local First Nations.
“They haven’t taken issue with the Canucks logo, so I have no problem with it,” he said. “I have a Canucks jersey.”
A year ago, back in 2019, Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini stated that the team were entertaining no thoughts at all about changing their team logo.
“It’s indigenous to the region. We’re going to keep it,” he said.