“It’s an honour to be singing at such an historic event, especially singing it bilingually. I sang it half in Cree and half in English,” 13-year-old Kiya Bruno said Wednesday. Bruno is a Grade 8 student originally from the Samson Cree Nation in northern Alberta.
On Saturday afternoon, Bruno sang O Canada in front of thousands of baseball fans at Rogers Centre as part of the Blue Jays’ celebration of National Indigenous People’s Day.
READ MORE: Teen sings O Canada in Cree before Jays game
It was the first time the national anthem was sung in Cree at Rogers Centre.
Bruno said she auditioned as part of a national casting call. She said she submitted a video of herself singing the anthem in Cree.
“I didn’t think I was going to get the part but I ended up getting the part and I was really excited and happy.”
Bruno said the whirlwind hasn’t totally sunk in yet.
“My whole family was happy for me… I was really excited, especially because I am one of the first Indigenous people to be singing in Cree, especially at an event this big,” she said.
“It was 20,000 people. We got an overview of the stadium. I got a small tour. I was really excited and nervous at first just because it’s a bigger stadium than I usually sing at.”
Bruno said she learned the song in Cree, and a few other tunes, from her mother and grandmother. She’s interested in furthering her singing career, as well as acting, dancing and modelling.
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With a file from The Canadian Press.