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WHL Warriors retro logo causing a stir

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The Canadian Press
4/8/2014 1:56:51 PM
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MOOSE JAW, Sask. -- A committee is calling on a Western Hockey League team in Saskatchewan to reconsider the use of its 1984 logo in 30th anniversary celebrations.

The retro logo of the Moose Jaw Warriors shows an image of a First Nations person on a skate and waving an axe.

The logo was criticized when it was rereleased in February, but detractors were from mainly outside the city.

The debate was renewed last month when Cree recording artist Buffy Sainte-Marie visited Moose Jaw and said the logo had to go.

Barb Frazer, chairwoman of the Moose Jaw Cultural Diversity Advisory Committee, says the group is recommending that the logo be retired.

She also says the team should consult aboriginal people and groups for direction and advice.

"Buffy Sainte-Marie came into town and I was a little bit embarrassed that it took a cultural icon to really get us to bring awareness to this," Frazer told city council Monday.

"When she was here last, she brought this up ... that this was a stereotype, that this was a logo that had to go."

Frazer said she has no problem with the current logo showing a chief wearing a headdress or with the team's name.

City council agreed to send a letter to the team to express concerns.

"This is certainly not a broad-sided attack on the Warriors," said Coun. Don Mitchell. "There is concern ... about a kind of caricature presentation of the Hollywood version of cowboys and Indians. That might have been acceptable in the 1980s, but it's not a fair representation."

The team has not been contacted by the advisory committee, so Mayor Deb Higgins decided to speak to the Warriors directly.

Three city councillors voted against the motion to send the team a letter. They said the city should not get involved directly and suggested it should be the committee that sends a letter to the Warriors about its concerns.

Western Hockey League (Photo: TSN)

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(Photo: TSN)
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