Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League

Mustangs receive new September logo courtesy of James Smith artist

(Photo courtesy Melfort Mustangs)

(Article courtesy Ben Tompkins/

The Melfort Mustangs will be using an entirely new logo for one game this month.

Courtesy of James Smith Cree Nation artist Jerry Whitehead, the team will be wearing the colour orange on Sept. 30 as a sign of reconciliation.

The logo was made with three feathers for the three bands, along with three lines on the nose for the three chiefs.

“We discussed it and we wanted to do something for truth and reconciliation,” said Hana Grace, Mustangs director of marketing and office administration. “It’s important, it’s been one year since the tragedy at James Smith happened and we want to build those relationships.”

The Stangs will also be selling custom orange shirts with the re-designed logo on September 30th, when they host the Kindersley Klippers for their orange shirt game.

Limited quantities will be available, with each shirt costing $30. Half the proceeds will go to the James Smith Cree Nation KidSport Program.

“Especially being able to help Indigenous kids pursue something, you know, maybe one of these kids will come and play for the Mustangs one day because we donated to their kid sports chapter and they were able to play,” added Grace.

Back in June of this year, James Smith became the first indigenous community in Canada to receive a KidSport chapter.

Whitehead said, as well as the relationship with the Mustangs, is just getting these kids one step closer.

“I know there’s a lot of young kids that are getting into hockey, and I think this is an opportunity for them rather than just playing at the reserve level, they can move on past that and expand their own talents, so this is a great opportunity for them.”

Whitehead was approached by the Mustangs to help with this project, as he also currently has an exhibit at the Kerry Vickar Centre in Melfort.

According to Grace, he was also approached as someone who could help build that awareness and help pass it along to the younger generation.

“It’s kind of one of those topics that select family members don’t talk about and it’s something that should be talked about. It’s a step that looks small, but in the grand scheme of things might help because maybe other clubs will start doing stuff, and maybe it’ll help kind of reconcile the Indigenous communities in sports as well,” she said.

“If you can get those young people in it, who can understand it and aren’t just sitting there brushing it off, then they can take it with them. Hopefully, they can take it to another club that they play for down the road and they can say, hey, this is something that’s important and we need to do.”

On Sept. 30, each Mustang will be wearing the shirt during off-ice warmups, while the coaches will be donning it during the game.

Melfort is also hopeful to have James Smith’s Chief Wally Burns in attendance that night, as well as have someone there to sing the national anthem in Cree.