TELL ME AND I'LL FORGET. SHOW ME, AND I MAY NOT REMEMBER. INVOLVE ME, AND I'LL UNDERSTAND.
For nearly two decades, the All My Relations (AMR) Women's Basketball team has been a safe and healthy vehicle for ladies of the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver to get involved in their community. The team consists of 14 young Aboriginal women from various nations and backgrounds, as well as about 40 alumni who come on and off the reservation. The players range in age from 17 to 40 years, many of them are single mothers, post-secondary students and all committed advocates for sports and healthy living. In basketball they learn that you have to practice how you want to play and, in our lives, we try to be the change that we want to see in our communities. They volunteer, mentor youth, teach others how to play sports, and give back however they can.
Involvement is at the core of the All My Relations approach. Bringing Indigenous and Inuit people together from various nations and backgrounds to form a team of one. Through basketball and tournaments people are brought together to share, learn, and flourish with one another. Plus, they’re pretty amazing on the court!
The All My Relations basketball was designed to represent not only the spirit of this team and its players, but also in celebration and appreciation of Indigenous culture across Turtle Island.
Taking its inspiration from nature, the sprouting tree/plant/flower is meant to signify three things:
ONE. The deep roots that Indigenous culture has in the “soil” of this land. This relationship to the Earth and her history acts as an important reminder that we are all connected.
TWO. The leaves and branches that extend outward are meant to signify the support we must continue to provide to each other. To always be a part of each other’s journey and to aid when needed. As these branches expand into leaves, they reach out toward the sky, symbolizing the cycle of growth.
THREE. The beautiful flower represents all the strength and beauty of Indigenous & Inuit communities, and the power in their perspectives.
FOUR. Black and red are the two oldest paint colours worldwide; there is no way of knowing exactly how far back the use of black goes, but red from red ochre has been used for at least 100,000 years around the world. It has documented use on the Northwest Coast for at least 4,000 years.
Together, these four pillars of nature form the basis of the All My Relations ball, designed in support of AMR’s mission, in recognition of the importance of Indigenous representation in sport, and for the love of the game!