St. Thomas More Student Inspires Edmonton Elks T-Shirt Design
St. Thomas More Catholic Junior High student Izaiah Masuskapoe is sharing his artistic talents with sports fans in Edmonton and beyond with his Indigenous-inspired version of the Edmonton Elks logo.
Izaiah, who shares a deep love of both art and sports, was moved to recreate the Elks logo after watching a B.C. Lions football game, where the team brought back t-shirts in honour of Orange Shirt Day.
“He came to art class one day and said he watched a B.C. Lions game and noticed they had an ‘Every Child Matters’ shirt and we didn’t have one here in Edmonton,” said Izaiah’s art teacher Leah Piekema.
And so Izaiah got to work. Armed with his beloved sketchbook and a deep passion, Izaiah began with the Elks logo as the basis and incorporated Indigenous-inspired elements and symbols into his artwork. The symbolism and meaning behind the various elements are powerful, as Izaiah explains, pointing to the feather trailing off the Elk ear, “this is supposed to be an eagle feather to represent the Indigenous children that went to residential schools.”
Ms. Piekema shared Izaiah’s finished piece with the football team who posted the re-created logo on their social media in honour of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The response the Elks received was astounding, and the club will be reproducing the design on a t-shirt, which will launch at the October 29 Elks game, with proceeds from the sales going to a charity of Izaiah’s choice.
Izaiah’s passion and empathy are a great example of the many qualities we see in our students and staff in our schools and at our sites and why we truly are #ECSDfaithinspires. As the Disciple Mark said in 9:23: “’All things are possible to him who believes.” And Principal of St. Thomas More, Daniela Stabile, agrees: “I really think that he can see now that anything is possible and he can take his art to the next level in doing something that he loves.”
Watch the Edmonton Elk’s website for more information on how you can purchase a t-shirt with Izaiah’s design. You can also learn more about Izaiah's story below.