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'This is just the beginning': Oilers hold first Indigenous Celebration Night


The Edmonton Oilers will hold their first Indigenous Celebration Night on Monday as they host the Seattle Kraken.

Lance Cardinal of Bigstone Cree Nation was brought on by the Oilers as a consultant to create a logo which features the Oilers mark in the body of a turtle highlighted by eagle feathers, a release from the Oilers read.

The logo is said to represent creation, wisdom, and spirituality surrounded by the colours blue, green, gold and white, which are all culturally significant to the Cree people.

According to Cardinal, the turtle is a reference to Turtle Island, the land upon which all 32 NHL teams compete.

“We, the Indigenous people of Canada, call North America Turtle Island,” Cardinal explained.

“I thought it would be amazing to bring in that idea of Turtle Island, something we all share and love and something that would bring everyone in Canada together to celebrate hockey and to celebrate the Oilers, and of course celebrate Indigenous culture.”

Cardinal told CTV News Edmonton the Oilers approached him with the idea as they wanted to “start a new relationship with the Indigenous community.”

The organization wanted to bring someone onboard who could bring an “authentic voice” to the process.

“I wanted to think of something that would encompass all of Canada that would talk about the First Nations, the Métis and Inuit people, and of course would also celebrate our country,” he said.

(Source: Lance Cardinal)

In addition to the logo, Cardinal has written a Treaty Land Acknowledgement that will be voiced by Chief Willie Littlechild to honour the shared use of Treaty 6 Land at every game, the release noted.

“We’re starting a new world of reconciliation in my opinion, and that’s one that’s person to person,” Cardinal said.

“This idea of the land acknowledgement, I thought and recommended, we do from the First Nations perspective, from our voice. To say welcome to the land we have lived on and we can all share together. This is the territory you’re in.”

Throughout Monday, fans will see postings from the team in both

English and Cree. It’ll also be supporting Native Counselling Services of Alberta as the 50/50 partner.

“This is just the beginning,” Cardinal said. “They want to have a long-term relationship with the First Nations community, and the Metis and Inuit community here in Edmonton.”

“There are some really exciting things coming down the aisle very soon.” Top Stories

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