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Indigenous sport organization sees increase in donations after racist comments directed at Oiler Ethan Bear

EDMONTON, AB - MAY 6: Ethan Bear #74 of the Edmonton Oilers skates during the game against the Vancouver Canucks on May 6, 2021 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

The racism directed at Edmonton Oilers defenceman Ethan Bear has prompted a jump in donations to an Indigenous sport organization founded by Olympic cross-country ski champion Beckie Scott.

Scott, who founded Spirit North over a decade ago, says contributions rose by $10,000 in just one day this past week, with donors stating Bear was the reason.

Read more: Spirit North ski program for Indigenous youth expands throughout Western Canada

Bear was the target of racist comments on social media after the Oilers were eliminated from the first round of NHL playoffs Monday by the Winnipeg Jets. He was raised on Saskatchewan’s Ochapowace Nation.

Read more: ‘It’s disgusting’: Edmonton Oilers GM reacts to racist comments about Ethan Bear

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Scott, of Canmore, Alta., is an Olympic gold and silver medallist in cross-country skiing.

Her organization, Spirit North, supports mental and physical health among Indigenous youth by bringing the chance to try different sports to their communities.

Click to play video: 'Saskatchewan standing behind Ethan Bear, denouncing racism in sport' Saskatchewan standing behind Ethan Bear, denouncing racism in sport
Saskatchewan standing behind Ethan Bear, denouncing racism in sport – May 28, 2021

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