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Quebec First Nations chief calls Blackhawks logo ‘offensive,’ would support crest change

A Quebec First Nations chief said he would support the decision to change the Chicago Blackhawks logo to something less offensive. A logo posted by Winnipeg radio hosts sparked the conversation about the Blackhawks logo, and it has gained steam on social media.
The Hockey News

The Hockey News

A Quebec First Nations chief has called the Chicago Blackhawks’ logo as offensive as the mark worn by the NFL’s Washington Redskins.

The head of the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador, Ghislain Picard, was approached with a logo design that has begun circulating around social media and said he would be on the side of the Blackhawks using the new logo.

"If there's consideration for what we think and what we would like to see, then sure," Picard told CBC.

The logo that Picard is on board with, which was created by a First Nations artist from Toronto, Mike Ivall, takes a more literal approach to the team’s name. In place of the Blackhawks’ traditional face-painted, feather-wearing logo, Ivall’s creation features a black hawk — the bird — with similar face markings and feather design.

Ivall’s design, and the support for changing the Blackhawks’ logo, picked up steam when it was posted online by Winnipeg radio hosts Tom McGouran and Larry Updike who asked their Facebook followers whether or not Chicago should consider a logo change. It has been shared more than 18,000 times on Facebook.

That Ivall’s design has picked up this new notoriety is interesting, though, because it’s been floating around the internet for more than seven years.

"At the time I was just learning how to use Illustrator and I know how some natives are a little against the native imagery and stuff like that, so I thought, 'Let's just try something out and be literal about it,'" Ivall told McGouran and Updike.

Ivall’s design got its first notoriety in July 2008 when jersey and logo design site Icethetics picked up the concept art and posted it. Then in 2010, Icethetics’ Chris Smith wrote to say that Ivall’s logo was being used without permission by a team in the NAHL. However, the NAHL club eventually dropped the mark, and Ivall has since come to an agreement with the Maplesoft Hawks, an Ottawa-area minor hockey club.

When the newfound interest in his logo design became popular, Ivall took to Twitter to say that he would be both happy and sad were the Blackhawks to adopt his concept. “Alas, I no longer own the right to it,” Ivall wrote.


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