– Words by Sean McIntyre Photography by Lia Crowe
Artist Maynard Johnny Jr.’s iconic Indigenous-inspired jersey sported by Vancouver Island’s Pacific FC soccer club was an instant hit the moment it landed on the pitch earlier this season, selling out fast and generating an online buzz that’s sent the team’s staff scurrying to meet growing demand.
The white and black jersey with teal trim depicts a salmon and young child adorning its entire front side and sleeves. The salmon is meant to represent the rejuvenation and resilience of Indigenous people, while the child symbolizes moving ahead to a positive future.
Maynard says the jersey was created with Pacific FC, in the spirit of truth and reconciliation, as a way to highlight work that still needs to be done across Canada. He hopes Pacific FC players wearing the jersey at home games and in soccer stadiums from coast to coast will raise questions and promote awareness.
The Vancouver Island Canadian Soccer League franchise plays its home games at Langford’s 6,000-seat Starlight Stadium.
“My job as an artist and as an Indigenous man is to create an awareness that it is not us as Indigenous people that have to reconcile, it’s the rest of Canada,” he says.
In a collaboration with local First Nations, $20 from each jersey sale will be donated to the artist’s charity of choice. The new jersey retails for $119 and comes in sizes youth to 4XL.
For more information, visit: pacificfcfanshop.ca.