A turtle has been selected as the mascot for the 2017 North American Indigenous Games.
The Turtle is a sacred animal in Indigenous culture representing truth- one of the seven grandfather teachings that many communities coast-to-coast share. The turtle is believed to carry the teachings of life on its back and was present during the creation of the Earth.
Debwe will be his name. The design came from a 14-year-old Anton, of Deer Lake Ontario after more than 200 submissions came in for a mascot contest directed at youth ages 6-19.
Debwe will feature an upright turtle sporting a lacrosse hook and the NAIG symbol on it’s shirt. The reptile will also sport a red cap with #88, a reminder of the responsibility of every Canadian to engage and actively participate in reconciliation, according to a press release.
The official unveiling took place last Thursday at the Urban Indigenous Education Centre in Toronto.