National recognition for the design of a northern artist’s orange shirt

Patrick Hunter’s orange shirt is being sold at Giant Tiger stores across Canada to raise money for a national Indigenous charity while raising awareness for the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation

Two-Spirit Ojibway Woodland artist Patrick Hunter has collaborated with a national Indigenous charity to launch an orange shirt that is sold in Giant Tiger stores across Canada.

The custom shirt designed by Hunter is intended to help raise awareness of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation with 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the shirts going to Indspire, a charity that invests in First Nations education, Inuit and Métis to help them realize their greatest potential.

“Giant Tiger is such a popular store in a lot of small communities — I mean, that’s kind of where I’m from too — so that’s pretty cool,” said Hunter, a Sault College graduate from Red. Lake, Ontario. “I haven’t quite gotten the number of stores they have across Canada, but the feeling is absolute excitement nonetheless. »

Hunter says the image he designed for the orange shirt was derived from Indspire’s own logo.

“It’s an eagle, and there’s a lot of Indigenous iconography in the eagle itself,” Hunter said. “I just wanted to create something that people could relate to, whether it was the Northern Lights or the connection to nature – it would be like trees and the flowers in them. There’s a sunset and mountains in it, feathers, water, paddles, [Inuksuit, plural form of Inukshuk] as well.

“I think these are things that Indigenous and non-Indigenous people can relate to from coast to coast, which was the design challenge – how do you create something that will hopefully resonate in the cultures of all the coasts of this country? But I think I did – I hope I did.

In a press release on Wednesday, Giant Tiger introduced the retail chain as a longtime Indspire partner that supports three programs through its Charitable Giving Fund by donating $75,000 annually to the national charity through a three-year partnership:

  • Soaring: Gathering for Indigenous Youth Empowerment – Bringing together hundreds of Indigenous high school students from across the country for a careers conference and campus day with workshops by Indspire sponsors to help them plan their future career and encourage them to stay in school
  • Building a Better Future: Scholarships, Bursaries and Awards – The GT Scholarship Program for students from GT communities and Indigenous youth across Canada. Students will receive awards to help them reach their full potential and break down financial barriers to education
  • Rivers to Success: Mentoring of Indigenous Students – Consists of three service streams: secondary stream for students in grades 10-12, post-secondary stream for grade 12 students entering post-secondary or post-secondary students of any year, and Career Transition Stream for final-year students preparing for the transition to the world of work.

“There are many steps on the road to reconciliation,” Indspire President and CEO Mike DeGagné said in the statement. “From building relationships to reducing barriers, this is an ever-evolving and participatory action, and we appreciate partners like Giant Tiger for walking this path with us to improve access to education for indigenous learners.

Hunter sees orange as a “bright, cheerful color that stops people in their tracks” while allowing Canadians to learn about the residential school system and its impact.

“When someone is going through something really traumatic and difficult, validation is what I think survivors are looking for, and empathy is probably one of the easiest things that we as humans have. we can give to each other,” Hunter said. “I think Indigenous people see support and solidarity from non-Indigenous culture for something that they’ve been through, I think that’s such a great thing.”

Hunter’s custom orange shirt is available now at over 260 Giant Tiger stores across Canada and online at the Giant Tiger website.

About Catharine C. Bean

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