After followers famous that the Calgary Flames are the one Canadian NHL workforce to not acknowledge Indigenous soil earlier than video games, they’re calling on the workforce to do extra to acknowledge Treaty 7 nations on house ice.
Calgary is without doubt one of the conventional territories of the Treaty Seven Nations, which incorporates the Blackfoot Confederation (Siksika, Kainai, Piikani), the Tsuut’ina, the Îyâxe (Stoney) Nakoda Nations and the Métis Nation (Area 3).
The peace treaty was signed with the federal authorities within the 1870s after European colonizers got here and massacred the native buffalo inhabitants, ravenous the First Nations who relied on them for meals, clothes and different primary requirements.
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Conflicts with the Crown, such because the Battle of Little Bighorn, additionally spurred the necessity for a peace treaty between First Nations and the federal authorities.
For Riel Houle, a Piikani First Nation member, the treaty represents the hardships his ancestors needed to undergo.
“In our methods there’s a time period to explain the sacred settlement between the 2 governments: our authorities and the Canadian authorities. When you create that sacred settlement, you defend one another,” Houle instructed QR Calgary.
“As a result of (Treaty 7) was not a give up treaty, the settlement was to stroll aspect by aspect and work collectively.
“Whether or not it is Native, Blackfoot, Asian, Black… We’re very multicultural and we should at all times defend one another.”
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Houle instructed QR Calgary he was dissatisfied within the Flames as a result of the NHL workforce had not engaged with Indigenous communities in a significant means.
In an announcement emailed to International Information, the Calgary Sports activities and Leisure Company mentioned it’s “working intently” with some Treaty 7 representatives to host sporting occasions celebrating Indigenous ancestry.
These embrace the Flames’ Indigenous Celebration Sport on February 16 and the Roughnecks’ Each Youngster Issues Sport on January 28.
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“Land recognitions are a part of these discussions. It is crucial that we proceed to be taught from these conversations and be sure that we communicate to all seven nations earlier than any formal announcement,” mentioned Peter Hanlon, Vice President of Communications for the Calgary Sports activities and Leisure Company.
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The Metropolis of Calgary’s Workplace of Indigenous Relations (IRO) instructed QR Calgary that whereas it encourages exterior organizations to acknowledge Treaty 7 international locations at their occasions, it doesn’t request them to take action.
“It’s not throughout the mandate of the IRO and the Calgary City Affairs Committee to help exterior organizations in conducting land recognitions or to request them to take action, but when they want to pursue this, there’s a information accessible on Calgary.ca ,” a metropolis consultant mentioned in an electronic mail.
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The Flames’ relationship with indigenous communities is in stark distinction to the Edmonton Oilers, based on Houle.
“I’ve at all times seen former Chief Willie Littlechild acknowledge the (Treaty 6) tribes. I used to be actually touched after I noticed it, together with the genuine cultural performances and energy dancers that have been there,” mentioned the Piikani Nation member.
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“Once I see the Calgary Flames, I do not actually see that a lot coming from them. They’re good in Blackfoot territory.
“We should always remember the treaties we signed and why we should defend one another and look out for one another.”
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However the Flames should do extra than simply acknowledge the land to reconcile with indigenous peoples. Houle famous that true reconciliation consists of discovering and talking the reality about settler colonialism in Calgary.
He proposed including artistry and architectural parts from completely different Treaty 7 nations to the brand new hockey stadium that might substitute the getting old Saddledome.
When Edmonton’s new downtown area was constructed, First Nations artist Alex Janvier was commissioned to create a big mosaic on the ground of the cavernous Ford Corridor hall resulting in Rogers Place.
“Once I was youthful, I used to be at all times instructed that folks personal land… However in our tradition it is the opposite means round. The land doesn’t belong to you, we belong to the land,” he mentioned.
“If the Calgary Flames can take a step ahead and do extra, that might be nice.”
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“There are Calgary Flames followers right here within the Piikani Nation and lots of people right here go to their video games, and I feel if they will acknowledge Indigenous artwork, structure and tradition, that might be nice.”
Rob Shotclose, Bearspaw First Nation chief government officer, instructed QR Calgary in an electronic mail that “it is about time” all signatories to Treaty 7 have been acknowledged at Calgary Flames video games.
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