When the time came to choose names for the new teams for the inaugural season of the Arena Lacrosse League’s West Division, the goal was to create names with connections to both the west coast and the area’s Indigenous culture.
“It is really about representing the water, land, mountains and sky,” explained Tewanee Joseph, a member of the Squamish Nation who aided in the team-naming process. “And those names are representatives of this part of the world for us.”
The team names chosen are the Black Fish, Grizzlies, Sea Spray and Shooting Eagles.
“Lacrosse is the Creator’s game and what better way to honour that then choose team names which connect the sport with its Indigenous roots,” said ALL West Commissioner Ken Buchan.
Black Fish is an Indigenous name for the Killer Whale or orca, a medicinal animal to the Indigenous tribes of the Northwest Coast. They are considered a symbol of power and strength and catching sight of one is considered a momentous omen.
Sea Spray represents the water, which is recognized as a sacred gift that connects all life.
For the Grizzlies moniker, bears are symbols of wisdom and are often featured as guardians, teachers, leaders and healers.
And Eagles are considered the masters of the sky and are a symbol of great significance as they are believed to be the creature with the closest relationship with the Creator and is considered the Creator’s messenger. An eagle feather is the link between the People and the Creator.
The logos were designed by Squamish Nation artist Yul Baker. Both Joseph and Baker are also involved in the league as they will serve as assistant coaches.
Combine Information: The registered players will participate in a combine November 15 to 17, ahead of the draft set for Nov. 20. The teams begin the season on December 11, 2021, with each team playing a dozen games (all at Langley Events Centre) through the end of the regular season in mid-March. The season concludes with the championship final, set for March 27, 2022.