Medal design unveiled for upcoming North American Indigenous Games

One of the gold medals that will be handed out this summer at the 2023 North American Indigenous Games. (Paul Palmeter/CBC - image credit)
One of the gold medals that will be handed out this summer at the 2023 North American Indigenous Games. (Paul Palmeter/CBC - image credit)

The medal design for the 2023 North American Indigenous Games has officially been unveiled.

The host society revealed the design at an event featuring Indigenous artists and dancers in Millbrook First Nation Tuesday, marking six months before the Games.

The medals were initially designed by Ella Scothorn, a student from Hardwood Lands, N.S., before being finalized by Mi'kmaw artist Tayla Fern Paul.

"This is really great and it's important to see the local artists' work being done on the medals," said Millbrook Chief Bob Gloade.

"This supports Indigenous artists in the local area, as well as the culture and history of the Mi'kmaw people, which is incorporated into the design."

Paul Palmeter/CBC
Paul Palmeter/CBC

Nearly 3,000 gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded during the Games, which will draw more than 5,000 athletes, coaches and team staff to Millbrook First Nation and the Halifax Regional Municipality in July.

More than 100 design submissions were received in an open-design competition.

"The main part of the image is the stars, which was Ella's original design," said Paul. "I expanded it to include a petroglyph of a star traveller which is from here. It's Mi'kmaw."

Paul Palmeter/CBC
Paul Palmeter/CBC

Paul said other images were added before the final design came together.

The medal design will mark the second time local Indigenous artists will be showcased at a large sporting event in recent months.

Four artists put in hundreds of hours of work to design and paint hockey sticks that were presented to each player of the game during the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in Halifax and Moncton, N.B., last month.

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