The Opaskwayak Logo
The Opaskwayak Logo
Have you caught a glimpse yet? The family, the Eagle and Staff, and the full circle. It’s all there in the Opaskwayak logo. Only, its design has been enhanced to be much sharper to the eye so it can stand out in Public Relations (PR) advertisements and on marketing products.
Why? Because Opaskwayak has long been a front-runner as a progressive First Nation. One Google search, and hundreds of stories, photos and videos pop up. And so does our logo.
Long story short: a great logo can make the difference between an average brand and an unforgettable one. And here in Opaskwayak, we are all unforgettable.
The enhanced version is known as a PR LOGO type. It’s a bold visual that’s meant to connect with our audiences – our members, our neighbours, all Canadians and the rest of the world.
Looking back, we were first called The Pas Indian Band and our logo was a side view of a pan-indigenous man on top of an arrow head. In the 1990’s, we changed to the Opaskwayak Cree Nation and band member Les Michelle designed the logo we still use.
Then about a decade ago, talks began to possibly change that logo. However, after years of discussions and community consultation, we have arrived to where we are now – an enhanced version designed to bring the past into the future.
What stayed the same? The Opaskwayak Logo. The colour red in the faces completing the circle of life. The number of people, as they represent the different stages of life.
The differences you see in the PR logo version are few and far between. However, these changes are necessary as we assert our right to be seen. The enhanced bold version provides for easier printing and for the logo to stand out and be seen more clearly. The image on the flag hanging outside the Gordon Lathlin Memorial Centre is barely visible and some Elders have said it looks like a white surrender flag. The modern PR logo won’t have that problem!
Color of the Eagle- the vintage logo is an artist rendering with a delicate red line while the modern logo is a PR version with thick black outline.
Eagle Staff- the vintage logo has both an Eagle wing and a Staff while the modern logo combines wing and Staff into one. Both follow protocols of having 13 feathers attached to the Staff.
The family- you need an artist’s eye to notice the very minor change on the hair.
The wordmark – as recommended by Elders, Opaskwayak Cree Nation (the English version of our name) was updated with Opaskwayak. In all our writing now, we are moving to using Opaskwayak instead of OCN.
The PR Logo was approved by a Chief and Council resolution in December 2022.
For the past few years, Opaskwayak has undergone much-needed structural changes that were identified going back to the 80’s. So with all of this happening at once, it makes sense to find ways to instill pride for years to come – kawēsk tōta (do it properly).
We will continue to work our way toward a greater unity. As the Elders say, māmaw- ihito (be together in one group). Huge projects like our Wakohtowin Law and the re-org into seven branches help move us closer to unity and away from fragmented colonial structures. Our enhanced PR Logo is a symbol of that movement.
The new look will be phased in this year and there will be a flag raising ceremony during OID 2023 while branch logos will be retired and honoured as well. Moving forward, every branch in Opaskwayak will use the same logo as we stand in common unity.
Between now and then, we are asking branches and members not to order items with the vin-tage logo and use up the items they have in stock. Until the Logo Use Guidelines have been approved, there is minimum distribution of the enhanced PR logo and brand.
Once a decision is made on the types of marketing materials going forward, anyone wanting to order items with the logo will be asked to go through the Communications Office with Tiar Wheatle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So how much change is there exactly? Apisīs (a little bit)
And the rewards? Kākikē (forever).
Māmawihito. kawēsk tōta.
This story was first published in the Spring 2023 Report to the Community.