The 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship kicked off in so-called Atlantic Canada on December 26th, and this year some of the top players will receive awards featuring art from four artists from the Wabanaki Confederacy – consisting of the Mi’kmaq, Maliseet, Abenaki, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot Nations.
Mi’kmaw artist Lorne Julien, Maliseet artist Emma Hassencahl-Perley, Qalipu Mi’kmaw artist Robin Paul, and Maliseet artist Natalie Sappier (Samaqani Cocahq) each provided hand-painted art for the awards that will be given to the “player of the game” at the end of every match for each of the ten teams participating in the tournament.
While a similar concept was executed for the 2022 Championship in Edmonton, Alberta with Cree artist Jason Carter providing the artwork, this year’s tournament gave organizers a chance to highlight local Indigenous artists from so-called Atlantic Canada. Prior to the tournament, Hockey Canada partnered with Mawi’Art: Wabanaki Artist Collective in order to find four artists to provide the art for this year’s “player of the game” awards.
The 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship is currently being hosted in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Moncton, New Brunswick, and will run through January 5th, 2023. To learn more about how Hockey Canada is promoting Indigenous artists, you can click here. To learn more about Mawi’Art: Wabanaki Artist Collective, please click here.
Image Credit: Dan Froese