The Canberra Raiders have recently unveiled their 2023 Indigenous Round jumper, celebrating the country they call home and corners across the continent. The design was created by Indigenous artist Eddie Longford in collaboration with the club's First Nations playing group, incorporating the cultural customs of Ngunnawal-Ngambri country around the Murrumbidgee River, the Brindabella Ranges, and Canberra, which were once traditional trading routes.
The design features both the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags, as well as the totems of Raiders Indigenous stars Jack Wighton, Jamal Fogarty, Xavier Savage, and Elijah Anderson. According to Savage, the involvement of the players in the design process was a positive aspect, as it represents all of them who are part of the team and the place they live in. Additionally, the totems visible on the jumper have a special place in Anderson's heart for the stories passed down through his family.
Wiradjuri man and artist Eddie Longford, who grew up on Ngunnawal/Ngambri country, expressed his pride in being able to use the Aboriginal flag freely, since it no longer falls under copyright. This is the first year that the Aboriginal flag has been able to be used freely, and Longford is proud to see it on the jumper, alongside the Torres Strait Islander flag.
The Raiders' 2023 Indigenous Round jumper is a part of the NRL Indigenous round, which will be played in round 12. The Penrith Panthers also recently unveiled their 2023 Indigenous jersey, recognizing their home and the people, animals, and land of the Darug Nation.
The Indigenous Round is a special opportunity for players to represent their family, people, and tribe, and to give young kids hope. The involvement of the players in the design process ensures that the jumper represents all of them and the place they live in. The use of totems and flags adds a special cultural significance to the design, and the involvement of Indigenous artists ensures that the design is authentic and culturally appropriate. Overall, the Canberra Raiders' 2023 Indigenous Round jumper is a beautiful celebration of Indigenous culture and its importance to the club and the community.
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Courtesy National Indigenous Times