MANITOBA — Vegas defeated the Florida Panthers 9-3 last Tuesday night to capture the Stanley Cup for the first time. Members of the Sioux Valley Dakota Nation headed to the powwow grounds after watching one of their own hoist the Stanley Cup.
Hundreds of celebrating community members applauded as Zach Whitecloud of the Vegas Golden Knights won the National Hockey League’s biggest prize.
Following the win, Whitecloud hoisted the Stanley Cup beside his parents.
Speaking on Sportsnet, Whitecloud thanked his family for the sacrifices they made so he could play hockey. He also thanked those back on his First Nation for their unwavering support.
In a news release, the Sioux Valley Dakota Nation said its deeply honoured to celebrate its very own “Dakota Knight,” a nickname given to Whitecloud.
“Sioux Valley Dakota Nation Congratulates Zach Whitecloud and the Las Vegas Golden Knights
on Their Western Conference Championship. Sioux Valley Dakota Nation extends its heartfelt congratulations to community member Zach Whitecloud and the Las Vegas Golden Knights on their outstanding achievement of winning the Western Conference Championship in the National Hockey League (NHL). We are immensely proud of Zach’s accomplishments and the positive representation he brings to our community. Zach Whitecloud’s dedication, skill, and perseverance have been evident throughout his hockey career, and we are thrilled to witness his success on the professional stage. As a member of the Sioux Valley Dakota Nation, Zach is an inspiration to our young people and a shining example of what can be done if you work hard, are determined, and love what you do. Sioux Valley Dakota Nation recognizes the significance of this milestone for Zach Whitecloud and the Las Vegas Golden Knights. As a community, we fully support Zach and his team as they prepare for the NHL Stanley Cup Finals. This momentous occasion provides a unique opportunity for our community to come together, celebrate, and show our unwavering support for Zach and his teammates,” reads an earlier statement released on May 30.
Whitecloud is known for his positive attitude. Earlier this year, ESPN’s John Anderson apologized for mocking his last name after comparing it to toilet paper and Whitecloud accepted his apology.
“People make mistakes, and this is a scenario where not just John, but everyone can learn from and move forward in a positive direction and try to be better,” he said in May.