EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers were pleased to announce last month that the club would host an Indigenous Celebration Night on Monday, Nov. 1 as the Pacific Division rival Seattle Kraken make their first-ever regular season visit to Rogers Place.
To commemorate the celebration of culture and the creativity of the Indigenous communities of Northern Alberta, the Oilers collaborated with designer and artist Lance Cardinal of Bigstone Cree Nation, who created a beautiful logo. The logo was to be incorporated into the game presentation and other future initiatives as the team looks to deepen its connection with the Indigenous communities of the Oiler’s home.
The logo, which features a stylized Oilers mark incorporated into the body of a turtle and highlighted by eagle feathers, represents creation, wisdom and spirituality with surrounding colours blue, green, gold and white all culturally significant to the Cree people. The turtle is a reference to Turtle Island, the land mass upon which all 32 NHL teams compete. Additional Indigenous artwork were also included in various elements of the games presentation.
As written in the press release form the Oilers: “In addition to beginning each home game with a Treaty Land Acknowledgement written by Lance Cardinal and voiced by Chief Willie Littlechild to honour and celebrate the shared use of Treaty 6 Land, the Oilers were honoured to welcome distinguished elders to the game: Chief Willie Littlechild (Treaty 6 First Nations), Grand Chief Arthur Noskie (Treaty 8 First Nations), Audrey Poitras (Metis Nation of Alberta Provincial President), Edna Elias (Inuit Elder).”
Prior to a special rendition of the Canadian national anthem in both English and Cree sung by Kiya Bruno, a member of Samson Cree Nation, the talents of powwow dancer Darrell Brertton Jr. from Saddle Lake Cree Nation were displayed.
Throughout the day, visitors who follow the Oilers on social media saw postings in both English and Cree, and the team is proud to support Native Counselling Services of Alberta as the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation online 50/50 partner that game day.
“We, at Native Counselling Services of Alberta, are pleased to accept the generous gift of the Oilers Foundation 50/50 net proceeds. These funds will allow us to expand our ability to provide increased services and supports to guide our people in healing from historic trauma,” said Marlene Orr, Acting Executive Director, Native Counselling Services of Alberta.
“As children’s graves continue to be found at Indian Residential Schools, we acknowledge that reconciliation involves Indigenous people leading the healing with Indigenous people. We are grateful that the Oilers Foundation chose to support our work as an act of reconciliation and out of respect for our ability to work with our people. Thank you to all the fans who made this generous gift possible.”
“The Oilers are proud to have a long-standing relationship with the Indigenous community and we are fortunate to have so many passionate Indigenous fans who represent a vital part of the fabric of our club,” said Tim Shipton, EVP, Corporate Affairs, Oilers Entertainment Group. “Monday night will not only be a celebration of culture but an opportunity to raise dollars and awareness for an important service.”
CUTLINE: The Monday, Nov. 1, Oilers game vs. Seattle Kraken honoured culture and creativity of Indigenous communities of Northern Alberta. Photo submitted.