University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) alumnus Trevor Angus could not be more proud the logo he designed will soon appear on the jerseys of his alma mater's sports teams.
On Wednesday, the Prince George-based university unveiled the Gitxsan artist's rendition of the Timberwolves logo, which features a Gitxsan wolf, on the uniforms of its soccer and basketball teams.
Angus's design of the soccer team's uniform will debut this Saturday in a game against the visiting Thompson Rivers WolfPack from Kamloops, B.C., while the basketball team's jerseys will make their first public appearance on Nov. 6, also in a game against the Kamloops team.
The UNBC Timberwolves is Canada's first university athletic program to don a logo designed completely by an Indigenous artist.
"I was really surprised to find out I was the first in Canada," Angus said Wednesday to host Sarah Penton on CBC's Radio West. "I was really taken back and proud to be the first Aboriginal artist to do such a thing."
Angus, who graduated from UNBC in 2003, designed the logo for the university's First Nations Centre in 2001.
He says four years ago, staff at UNBC's athletic department found out the logo was his work, and asked him to design an alternate version of the Timberwolves logo.
Angus says he finished the design two years ago, but it took another two years to hire a company to manufacture the jerseys with his new logo, a process he says was slowed down by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Besides the logo, the jersey and shorts also bear the syllabics of UNBC's Dakelh motto En Cha Huná, which means "respecting all forms of life."
Angus says he thinks this is the first of many steps in the process of reconciliation.
"There are avenues that are a little slower than others, and one of the things that a lot of us share in Canada is a love for sports," he said.
"I think this [logo] is a really good avenue to share and to add some of the teachings to, because a lot of people love basketball and soccer."