Musqueam history, heritage and culture showcased in new FIFA 23 video game – Coast Mountain News

The hit EA Sports FIFA video game has returned to its roots with its new edition, literally.

FIFA 23, developed primarily at EA Vancouver, recognizes the history, heritage and culture of the Musqueam Indian Band by including artwork and items from Musqueam artists in its new edition.

Vancouver is located on the ancestral and unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh nations.

There are over 1,300 members of the Musqueam Band. About half live in a small part of his ancestral territory known as the Musqueam Reservation, located south of Marine Drive in Vancouver near the airport.

Many more live throughout Musqueam, now called Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, Delta, North Vancouver, West Vancouver and New Westminster.

Musqueam leader Wayne Sparrow was blown away when he saw the results of working with EA Sports.

“Amazing. I’m really proud of our artists, our community,” he said in an interview. “To have it presented like this is just amazing. For me, this is a big step towards reconciliation.

The work of a dozen local artists is featured in the game.

“When I watch it, it gets a little emotional,” Sparrow said. “All the hard work our ancestors did in the past to be recognized in our area, some of the struggles they had with residential schools, the rights of indigenous peoples that are accepted in UNDRIP (United Nations Declaration on rights of indigenous peoples) and stuff like that.

“The only thing that upsets me is that I wish those who fought for us, who left us all, weren’t here to see what came of their hard work. Because that’s not not necessarily today’s leadership, it was all those former leaders who laid the groundwork for us.

FIFA 23 players will have the opportunity to play on a fictional representation of the real Musqueam football pitch. Completed in 2015, the group’s sports facilities – a legacy of the 2010 Olympics – consist of two full-size football pitches and a clubhouse. Musqueam Field is in-game as a playable field in Volta Football mode, a version of street football.

Players will be able to unlock Volta Football apparel and FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) kits, designed by Musqueam artists, as well as FUT Stadium customization items that feature a variety of Musqueam designs and designs.

While EA Sports’ Madden NFL franchise has collaborated with native artists in the past (Hawai’i stadium to Madden 22), the developer says this is the first such collaboration for the FIFA title. “because we aim to better connect with the local communities where our studios are located and our games are produced.

“We are honored to work with the artists, athletes and leaders of the Musqueam community to help share their deep and meaningful history and culture with the millions of FIFA fans around the world,” said Nicholas Lammie, director of brand marketing at EA Sports FIFA, in a statement.

The artwork was reviewed by a committee of representatives appointed by the Musqueam Indian Band, EA Sports and Monday Creative, a Vancouver-based marketing company.

The collaboration also sees EA Sports assisting Musqueam on its home turf by creating a true kit for Musqueam football players that brings the game’s kits to life. It also provides enhancements to the Musqueam field, including storage and management facilities. improved equipment, new goals and nets, and custom tents for shelter from the elements.

Musqueam soccer teams regularly compete in tournaments across British Columbia

“It’s a huge sport here at Musqueam,” Sparrow said.

Musqueam artists whose work is featured in the game include Kelly Cannell, Chase Gray, Deanna Point, Krista Point, Aleen Sparrow, Brent Sparrow, Debra Sparrow, Kamryn Sparrow, Robyn Sparrow, and Cole Sparrow-Crawford.

FIFA 23, which EA Romania has also been working on, will be available worldwide on September 30 on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series XS, PC, Stadia, PS4, and Xbox One. Early access to FIFA 23 Ultimate Edition starts on September 27.

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Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

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Helen D. Jessen