Story of the HSBC Canada Sevens 2020 Medals
March 5, 2021
Story originally published on March 7, 2020: 16 teams from around the globe will compete in this year’s HSBC Canada Sevens tournament, with 45 games of electrifying rugby played over two days in order to determine who will be crowned the champions of 2020.
HSBC Canada Sevens takes place on the unceded traditional territory of the Musqueam Nation, Squamish Nation and Tsleil-Waututh Nation. Since its inception, HSBC Canada Sevens has partnered with local First Nations artists to design the medals that are awarded to its winners. This year, HSBC Canada Sevens is honoured to partner with the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm Musqueam Nation and have medals designed by:
- Gracieiene Ulu (Gold)
- Alicia Point (Silver)
- Cyler Sparrow-Point (Bronze)
Each medal doesn’t just signify the success of the winners and the power of rugby as a sport, they also represent something sacred to the First Nations artists that designed them. As a result, the medals are more than symbols of each team’s success, but also of the history and heritage of the Musqueam Nation.
In addition to the artistry behind these medals, they could not have been created without the integral contribution made by HSBC Canada Sevens partner Wheaton Precious Metals, a Vancouver-based precious metals streaming company.
In honour of the players who will wear them around their necks, the 2020 gold medal design showcases the qualities it takes to win HSBC Canada Sevens. To that end, the gold medal features an eagle which signifies focus, strength, leadership, and vision.
With its ability to soar to great heights, the eagle is said to be a messenger to the creator, conveying the powers and messages of the human spirit. The eagle can be seen as a symbol of courage and patience, allowing players to march into each game with confidence, knowing that the future holds countless possibilities unknown.
The 2020 silver medal features an incredible design from the Musqueam Nation, which tells the story of how the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) name came to be. The medal features the nation’s icon, sʔi:ɬqəy̓ (the double-headed serpent), who lived in a small lake called Camosun Bog.
The serpent was so large that its long, winding path from the lake to the river became the creek that flows through Musqueam to this day. Everything that the serpent touched died, but from its droppings grew a new plant called məθkʷəy̓, from which the Musqueum gained their name. The silver medal represents the ongoing connection to this land through ancestral teachings, and pays homage to the legacy of the Musqueam Nation.
Inspired by sport, the rugby ball that was drawn into the Arrowhead was to represent that they share the same characteristic of warrior-ship. The rest of the Coast Salish artwork located on both sides of the arrow head is a representation of ancient designs from mountain goat bracelets.