Every Child Matters Indigenous Campaign Activated By NLL – Sports Techie (2024)

Every Child Matters Indigenous Campaign Activated By NLL – Sports Techie (1)

National Lacrosse League Launches First-Ever League Wide Activation For “Every Child Matters” Initiative To Raise Indigenous Residential and Boarding School Abuse Victims Awareness

The “Every Child Matter” awareness campaign activation by the National Lacrosse League (NLL) runs for three weeks over January and February, 2023. All 15 @NLL teams will participate to support the initiative as the league adds their collective voice to the deplorable forced placement of Indigenous, First Nations and Native American children to residential and boarding schools by the governments of Canada and the United States beginning in the 19th century and finally ceasing in 1996 after 113 years across the Canadian provinces. It is estimated that somewhere around 4,100 students died or went missing from Canadian residential schools, many unaccounted for to this day. The new, Yellowstone prequel show, 1923, on Paramount+ has a sub storyline about a Native American girl named Teonna Rainwater who lives in a boarding school wrought with abuse by white Catholic nuns and a priest.


The Sports Techie community blog is eager to help share the “Every Child Matter” promise because our curator, me, played, coached and officiated lacrosse over 4 decades with many American and Canadian players meaning this story is dear to both me, and to the NLL as exhibited by their first ever, league-wide activation. Fans will be able to purchase cotton shirts through the league’s online stores,NLLShop.comandNLLStore.ca. For every shirt sold, the NLL will donate the proceeds to theGord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fundin Canada andThe National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalitionin the United States.

“Our continued work with Indigenous athletes and communities is a major priority for the National Lacrosse League, and the ‘Every Child Matters’ education process and activations are key components of that platform,”said NLL Commissioner Brett Frood.“This program presents an opportunity to facilitate meaningful conversations about the atrocities perpetrated by the residential and boarding school systems, continue the journey toward reconciliation, and honor survivors and their families.”

Every Child Matters Activations

The “Every Child Matters” initiative is a part of the league’s ever-growing participation and awareness programs tied to Indigenous culture, which is at the core of the league’s values and the history of the sport of lacrosse. Look for educational programs for athletes, coaches, staff and fans, land acknowledgment ceremonies, and charitable and social responsibility programs to strengthen and enhance the ties between league stakeholders and the Indigenous community.

Several NLL teams played games and conducted youth programs on Indigenous reservations earlier this season, with Philadelphia facing off against Georgia on Nov. 26 at Tsha’ Thoñ’nhes (Where They Play Ball) Arena at Onondaga Nation.

Las Vegas, San Diego and Halifax played a mini tournament in Akwesasne at the A’nowara’ko:wa Arena (colloquially called the Turtle Dome). This was the first of more in-person events ranging from clinics to other happenings that are currently in the planning stages and will be announced later in the season.

The National Native American Board School Healing Coalition

The mission of the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition (NABS) is to lead in the pursuit of understanding and addressing the ongoing trauma created by the United States Indian boarding school policy. NABS’s work is centered around seeking truth, justice, and healing for survivors and descendants of Indian boarding schools.

“We are grateful for the National Lacrosse League’s willingness to partner with us and use its platform to bring awareness to the atrocities forced upon Indigenous children, families and sovereign nations across Canada and the United States,” added Deborah Parker (Tulalip), CEO of the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition. “As we continue to work with boarding school survivors, educate the public, and advocate for policies that promote truth, justice and healing, partnerships like this will make our work more impactful.“

NLL Cares

During the second year of the program, every NLL team is participating as it runs from Week 9 (Jan. 23-29) through Week 11 (Feb. 6-12) of the 2022-2023 season. Afterwards, for the remainder of the season, every player is to wear specially designed helmet decals supporting “Every Child Matters.”

The teams will act as either a host or road participant, with a subsequent planned home activity later in the season for some teams. Players will display NLL’s “Every Child Matters” logo on a specially designed warmup shirt, along with the helmet decal. The league will also produce audio and video messaging for broadcasts on TSN and ESPN. Additional content will be incorporated intoNLL.comand league social channels, as well as into game presentations.

New ECM Logo

For “Every Child Matters,” the league created a new logo for this season with designer Justin Gilbert ofKuvua Designs. Justin was selected due to his work in support of Indigenous organizations and his connection to the cause, being born and raised on the Southern Ute Reservation. The logo contains the silhouette of an Indigenous child wearing a ribbon shirt and holding a wooden lacrosse trick, similarly used by players during the years the schools were established. The text “Every Child Matters” appears next to the image with a loving heart and cherished feather.

“In this logo I wanted to celebrate the culture we as Native Americans endured to keep. Since there are so many tribes that were affected by residential schools, my goal was to represent all Indigenous people who have been impacted,” said Gilbert.

About the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund

The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF) aims to build cultural understanding and create a path toward reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. DWF provides education on the true history of Indigenous Peoples in Canada and the lasting impact of residential schools through their programming, partnerships and events that build awareness, education, and connection between all peoples in Canada.

“With support from third-party fundraisers like the National Lacrosse League, we are reaching even more people throughout Canada, building cultural understanding, and creating a path to-ward reconciliation,” said Sarah Midanik, CEO and President of the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund. “Thank you for answering Gord’s call to ‘Do Something’ to improve relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.”

Sports Techie, a special virtual shoutout goes to the 15 U.S. and Canadian NLL franchises going all in with “Every Child Matters” including, the Albany FireWolves, Buffalo Bandits, Calgary Roughnecks, Colorado Mammoth, Georgia Swarm, Halifax Thunderbirds, Las Vegas Desert Dogs, New York Riptide, Panther City Lacrosse Club (TX), Philadelphia Wings, Rochester Knighthawks, San Diego Seals, Saskatchewan Rush, Toronto Rock, and Vancouver Warriors.

Founded in 1986, the NLL ranks third in average attendance for pro indoor sports worldwide, behind only the NHL and NBA.

Words and deeds cannot make up for the terrible treatment of Indigenous peoples, especially minors, in residential and boarding schools by racist North American governments and evil individuals.

The NLL, NABS and DWF know this and want to help not only make amends but also continue with the healing process.

Thank you very much, Gchi Miigwech, Wado, U-we-hno, and Mvto, to all.

All kids matter indeed.

See you latersportstechieinSeattle,Atlantaand around the world!

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Every Child Matters Indigenous Campaign Activated By NLL – Sports  Techie (2024)


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