Edmonton Oilers Honour First Nations Hockey

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(Because Cree Literacy is so much more than just knowing how to read and write!)

This video-of-the-day from Nation Talk was first posted on August 22, 2014, but came to my attention this week through Roxanne Tootoosis. It gave me chills, in the best possible way.

In it, distinguished former players – now Cree elders – Fred Sasakamoose, Ted Hodgson, and Chief Wilton Littlechild, discuss the struggle for the right to play hockey at Residential School Hockey and the struggle for acceptance as non-White professional players in the 50s and 60s. They oversee the ceremonial puck drop, accompanied by youth representatives from a number of nearby reserves.

The unique performance of O Canada by the Asani Singers (a trio of First Nations and metis women) ventures into pan-Indianism by supporting traditional “western” harmony with a layer of Innuit throat singing. The text itself is divided into equal parts of in English, French and Plains Cree.


About Arden Ogg

Arden Ogg is Director of the Cree Literacy Network, a not-for-profit in its seventh year of gathering and curating Cree language literacy materials on the web and creating connections between students, teachers, speakers and linguists across the Cree dialect-and-language continuum.
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