The Orange Jersey Project was born from an idea By Tyler Fuller. Tyler Fuller was Born in Salmon Arm, British Columbia, he is an Indigenous male where his family roots stem from Kawactoose First Nation located in Saskatchewan, Treaty No.4,
My name is Tyler Fuller I was born in Salmon Arm, British Columbia (BC). My hockey journey started when I was seven-years old when our family moved to Williams Lake, BC where I joined minor hockey. I worked my way up to midget hockey, which now is referred to as U18, from there I joined the Junior Hockey ranks. I then played for the Merritt Centennials in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) at 18-years old. However, I was released halfway through the year and joined the Osoyoos Storm team in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League where I was very fortunate to win a Canadian championship.
After that experience, I moved back to Williams Lake where I continued with my hockey career for the Williams Lake Timberwolves of the BCHL, I played two seasons with them. I was also honoured to be part of the first Team BC Aboriginal Hockey Team to represent in Cornwall, Ontario.
After playing for the Williams Lake Timberwolves, I then moved on to the Pro Hockey Ranks, where I joined the Texas team Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees in the Central Hockey League (CHL). I then went on to play for various teams in my three-year Pro hockey career including the Flint Generals (International Hockey League) and the New Mexico Scorpions (CHL). After gaining this much needed experience, I took on the job as assistant coach of the Williams Lake Timberwolves where I’m currently settled.
My story began when I decided to become involved in the Orange Shirt Society. It all started because my wife and I were watching the news when they found the 215 Unmarked graves at the (T’kemlups) Kamloops Indian Residential School site in May 2021. We were deeply affected by this news, and we wanted to help raise awareness around the horrific acts that were committed at these schools. Because I have a strong background in hockey, it felt appropriate to use that platform to inform the public about Canada’s true and devastating history.
My wife Amanda Fuller and I came up with the idea to design a hockey jersey as a way to inform and educate people about Indian residential school survivors and victims. I immediately contacted Chief Willie Sellars of the Williams Lake First Nation and asked for his guidance. He directed me to Phyllis Webstad who then introduced me to the Orange Shirt Society’s Executive Director who helped get the ball rolling for this project.
Throughout my pro-hockey career, I have met and stayed in touch with a lot of good people. One of my old teammates that I have stayed in contact with over the years. At the time was part of a jersey company in Winnipeg called Keener Jerseys. When I contacted them to talk about the Orange Jersey project, they were on board and excited to help us bring our vision to life.
My old friend/teammate and the team from Keener Jerseys put together a mock-up jersey with design elements that reflected the mission of the Orange Shirt Society. From there we wanted to showcase this jersey by getting high level Indigenous hockey players to wear them, the first person that came to mind was Carey Price an Indigenous Male from Anahim Lake BC, and Professional Goaltender for the Montreal Canadians National Hockey League. Since, I spent some time and played minor hockey with Carey Price and him being a long-time family friend. With his permission to create a jersey, the fire was lit, and the amount of support was overwhelming.
From there the Orange Jersey Project was born and has grown into something I would have never imagined. I am extremely humbled and grateful by the outpour of love from the community. Together, we are going to show the world that Every Child Matters.