Fred Sasakamoose • Chiefs and Champions

Fred Sasakamoose • Chiefs and Champions

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Running time:

24 minutes


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Part of the Chiefs and Champions series

In 1953, Fred Sasakamoose, a Cree man from northern Saskatchewan, became the first status Indian to play in the NHL. Known for his deadly slapshot, Fred was sometimes called "the reluctant Blackhawk" because he almost refused a contract with the Chicago team in favour of returning to his Sandy Lake reserve. After only one season, he chose to leave the NHL, but went on to play with the WCHL's Kamloops Chiefs, where he was named honourary chief of the Kamloops Indian Band. When he returned home, he became Chief to his own people for six years. Fred discusses the difficulty of overcoming his residential school experience, his battle with alcohol as a young man, and the work he now does to heal substance abuse in his community. He also works with the NHL's Diversity Committee and runs an annual hockey camp for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal kids.

Titles included in this series:

Chief Roger Adolph
Ross Powless
Alwyn Morris
Waneek Horn-Miller
Tom Longboat
Darren Zack
Billy Two Rivers
Angela Chalmers
Richard Peter
Sharon and Shirley Firth
Gino Odjick

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