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Indigenous leader calls Canucks logo ‘cultural appropriation’

Sean Carleton, a historian and expert on Indigenous history with the University of Manitoba, said the Canucks must change their entire logo




The Vancouver Canucks are being accused of cultural appropriation for using an Indigenous symbol of a killer whale in their logo.

The move came after team goalie Braden Holtby apologized for having Indigenous artwork on his mask.

“I wanted to make sure I apologize to anyone I offended. It was definitely not my intent and I definitely learned a valuable lesson through this all and will make sure I’m better moving forward,” Holtby said in an interview with CTV News.

Artist David Gunnarsson – one of the top goalie masks artists in the world – put pictures of the mask on Instagram – setting off a flury of negative reaction that them theme was cultural appropriation.

The specially-painted mask was made so the goalie would appear to be wearing a face of a “thunderbird.” The text in the post describes the mask as “Thunderbird, The Northwest Coast Indigenous Myth,” CTV reported.

Holtby mask

But the story didn’t end there when Sean Carleton, a historian and expert on Indigenous history with the University of Manitoba, said the Canucks must change their entire logo, which features the head of an orca.

“In light of sports teams in Cleveland, Washington, and Edmonton getting rid of racist and appropriated Indigenous team names/logos, it’s time to have a discussion about the Vancouver @Canucks‘s Indigenous appropriated Orca logo,” he said on Twitter.

“The real issue here is power and profit – in a bigger sense. Vancouver is located on unceded, stolen Indigenous territory, and the team makes millions from its operations and ‘Indigenous’ branding. This is a continuation of colonization in BC.

Sean Carleton

“The Canucks are branding their team with appropriated Indigenous imagery while being part of the process of profiting from doing business on stolen Indigenous land – without working with Indigenous peoples in meaningful ways. That’s how settler colonialism works.

“People will say, but Sean the imagery is a ‘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.

“But, for the Canucks, I think retiring the Orca logo needs to be put on the table, too. How can you continue to develop meaningful relations with Coast Salish nations when you continue to profit from branding that is appropriating their art style.”

Carleton tweet

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Division of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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  1. Jdawg Laurence

    December 19, 2020 at 2:06 am

    That title is extremely misleading and fake news. The guy is NOT a first nations leader. He is a white radical leftist who purports to speak for first nations people, but does not, in fact, represent any of their ideas. In fact, most Indigenous leaders who have actually spoken up say they support the Canucks logo!

  2. Cecil Chabot

    December 16, 2020 at 5:27 pm

    Braden Holtby should get his Swedish artist to depict a Vikings motif, just as ferocious as the indian one. Then a tribute to Canadian indigenous culture will be eliminated – – – well done Sean Carleton! , whose efforts to get himself noticed has the blame.

    • warrenzoell

      December 16, 2020 at 5:41 pm

      If people like Carleton get their way the indigenous people will have no representation at all. He doesn’t realize that the use of this artwork honors them, it doesn’t mock them.

  3. warrenzoell

    December 16, 2020 at 4:37 pm

    Yes . This is sure to bring everyone together.
    Carleton? You’re just another self hating white.

    • Jdawg Laurence

      December 19, 2020 at 2:07 am

      Yup! First Nations leaders are saying don’t change the logo! Clearly these leftist radicals do not represent who they pretend to.

  4. Charles Martell III

    December 16, 2020 at 1:09 pm

    Being “Woke” is a sign of stupidity . . . are you listening Carleton?
    Imitation is a positive thing . . .
    Unlike “Imitating” the NBA & NFL . . . the NHL is now running in the dumb lane . . . won’t be renewing my Season Tickets!

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Independent Alberta MLAs call for emergency debate on forced vaccinations

And the pair said they will not be revealing their own vaccination status, calling it a personal issue




Alberta’s two Independent MLAs are asking for an emergency debate in the Legislature over the issue of mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies, especially for health workers and the RCMP.

Drew Barnes, MLA for Cypress-Medicine, joined his colleague Todd Lowen, MLA for Central-Peace-Notley in making the call to Premier Jason Kenney.

And the pair said they will not be revealing their own vaccination status, calling it a personal issue.

Barnes said he was particularly worried about the impact on the RCMP, especially in rural detachments where he claimed few officers had been vaccinated.

More than 33,000 RCMP officers and support staff have signed an open letter to RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki opposing mandatory vaccinations.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said all federal workers, including the RCMP, must be vaccinated of face job consequences. But government memos say two-thirds of the civil service could be exempt.

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Vax deadline for BC health-care workers looms overhead

In BC, roughly 5,500 unvaccinated health-care workers will be stripped of their jobs on October 26 if they do not get their first shot.




Health-care workers have been praised for their efforts surrounding COVID-19 for nearly 20 months, however, the ephemeral display of gratitude comes to an end tomorrow.

On October 26, roughly 5,500 unvaccinated health-care workers in British Columbia will be stripped of their jobs, as set forth in a public health order.

The order demands workers provide proof of having received one dose of vaccination against COVID-19 by the aforementioned date.

If they get their first shot before November 15, workers will be permitted employment seven days afterwards, provided they follow extra safety precautions until they get a second dose — which must be administered within 35 days of the first.

“We’re hopeful, of course, that people will move to get vaccinated and comply with the upcoming order,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix.

The roughly 5,500 employees do not include the unvaccinated long-term and assisted living facility workers who were forced out of their jobs by the province on October 12.

Similar policies have been rolled out across the country, but not without resistance.

In August, Alberta Health Service (AHS) announced that all employees, volunteers, and contracted health-care providers must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Last week, the deadline was pushed until November 30.

Similarly, Quebec extended its proof-of-vaccination timeline for health-care workers by one month, with the new deadline falling on November 15.

BC’s deadline — which looms a mere hours away — seems to be fixed in its place.

“The government forcing health-care workers to become vaccinated is really problematic because — for one reason — these are the people most likely to have natural immunity,” Dr. Steven Pelech, chair of the Scientific and Medical Advisory Committee at the Canadian Covid Care Alliance told the Western Standard.

“This is the way the health-care system treats them… a year ago they were heroes for helping save lives, now they are discarded for being unvaccinated.”

Reid Small is a BC correspondent for the Western Standard

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Chu sworn in as Calgary Ward 4 councillor

Chu was sworn in by Court of Queen’s Bench Justice John Rooke. Earlier Calgary mayor-elect Jyoti Gondek had said she would refuse to swear Gondek in over his actions in 1997 with a 16-year-old girl.




Embattled Calgary Coun. Sean Chu has been officially sworn in again to the represent the area despite allegations of a 24-year-old sex scandal that erupted just before election day.

Chu was sworn in by Court of Queen’s Bench Justice John Rooke. Calgary mayor-elect Jyoti Gondek earlier said she would refuse to swear Gondek in over his actions in 1997 with a 16-year-old girl.

Gondek did not even mention Chu’s name during the ceremony.

In a media scrum following in the swearing-in ceremony, Gondek said council will be focusing on looking at the biggest priorities for each councillor in each ward and which councillor will be serving on the various committees, boards and commissions.

When asked why she chose not to swear councillor Chu in, Gondek said, “I didn’t feel it was appropriate for me to swear him in.”

“I’m focused on working with new members of council and one that have returned and letting them enjoy this day of being sworn in. All of us are incredibly proud of what we have accomplished and we are looking forward to celebrating this day as ours. So I’m choosing to focus on that today,” said Gondek when asked if she plans to take Chu up on his invitation to speak with him in person about the resurfaced allegations.

“The future will dictate that. Today I’m incredibly focuses on my family and my collegues who’ve achived a great success,” Gondek said about meeting with Chu at a later date.

Gondek became the first female mayor of Calgary in history. Eleven new councillors and two former ones were also sworn in Monday.

Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek was presented with the Chain of Office by her husband Todd. Justice John Rooke is on the left.

The Chu allegation involved an incident where he met the girl at the King’s Head Pub. After hitting it off, the pair agreed to meet later when Chu was off-duty and in civilian clothes.

The pair went to Chu’s house where he admits they engaged in consensual sexual foreplay. The girl then asked Chu to drive her home, which he did.

The girl later filed a complaint alleging Chu sexually assaulted her.

According to documents obtained by the Western Standard, Chu’s accuser said he had sexually assaulted her while holding a gun to her head.

However, Insp. Debbie Middleton-Hope, the presiding officer at the disciplinary hearing in 2003, said testimony from the then 16-year-old minor was not credible and not to be believed.

“I find Const. Chu to be forthright in his description of the details and I find his evidence to be believed,” said Middleton-Hope, a well-respected, now-retired, Calgary policewoman, in transcripts provided to the Western Standard.

“Under cross-examination (the woman) had difficulty in recalling pertinent details,” said Middleton-Hope.

“I find her evidence not to be believed and I was not able to consider her evidence when deciding a sentence.”

Middleton-Hope also confirmed there was no evidence that would have indicated Chu was aware the woman was underage stating, “several witnesses said [the girl] appeared to be 19 to 21 years old.”

Although allegations of sexual misconduct were thoroughly investigated and dismissed over the investigation, Chu had a letter of reprimand added to his file for discreditable conduct for caressing the accuser’s leg while on duty and was ordered to undergo six months of ethics training.

Gondek and Premier Jason Kenney, along with most of the incoming council have called for Chu to resign.

Chu offered to meet with Gondek in person to discuss the situation and has vowed not to resign.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean any harm,” Chu told the Western Standard in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.

“I have always told the truth. My reputation is important to me and now my family is hurting,” said Chu.

Chu is now looking at his legal options and a possible defamation suit over some of what he called “false reporting.”

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard

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