He died Tuesday afternoon at the age of 86 after battling the novel coronavirus

As part of his numerous contributions to hockey, he broke the barrier to generations of First Nations players when he made it to the NHL. Sakamoose played eleven games with the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1953/54 season

“(He) couldn’t go with the big wigs, couldn’t go with all the great owners of things and big companies. Big companies He wasn’t,” said Fred’s son Neil Sasakamoose via a Facebook post

“He was a grass roots guy He wasn’t a suit or tie. He didn’t belong there. He knew where you belonged. He belonged in the reserve with his people. He belonged to locals in small towns. ”

After his time in Chicago, Sasakamoose returned home to the Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation in Saskatchewan to give others the same opportunities he was given since he had no sports equipment, events, or facilities in the area, he worked hard on it to establish and develop smaller hockey and other sports in the community

In 1962, as one of the founding members of the Northern Indian Hockey League, Sasakamoose focused on hockey. His promotion of the game helped spur arena construction in northern Saskatchewan communities

“He said he never believed in racism He never believed in hate He believed in listening to what professionals have to say He had some good, good strengths about this old man He believed in his culture, his language, his people, he believed that we could get along with non-locals and race all over the world, “said Neil

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The Edmonton ceremony honors the Canadian Order’s appointment to Fred Sasakamoose, the first NHL indigenous player

More recently, he assisted the All Nations Hockey School in Saskatoon before founding the Fred Sasakamoose All Star Hockey Week A hockey camp that focuses on diversity and inclusion in addition to hockey skills

Sasakamoose has been inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame, the Saskatchewan First Nations Sports Hall of Fame, the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame, the Meadow Lake Wall of Fame, the FSIN Circle of Honor, and the Canadian Native Hockey Hall of Fame recorded

Former Canadian NHLers Theoren Fleury and Brigette Lacquette, who played on the women’s national team, are among the members of the hockey community who responded to Sasakamoose’s post on social media

Sorry to hear from @FredSasakamoose today, Thank you for leading the way in paving the way for indigenous hockey players for all of us and helping us dream big. We will miss you on ImageTwittercom / SYAYozKDEs

The #Oilers are deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend & hockey icon Fred Sasakamoose

Fred became the first Canadian Indigenous @NHL player He attended our First Nations Hockey celebration & often traveled from Sask to bring children from his community to play BildTwittercom / 2zr9VLhqLV

Fred Sasakamoose

World news – CA – The indigenous ex-NHLer Fred Sasakamoose is 86 years old

Source: https://globalnews.ca/news/7482170/indigenous-nhl-fred-sasakamoose-dead/