When the Edmonton Oilers suit up to face the Florida Panthers at Rogers Place on Monday night, they will also be celebrating Indigenous people.
Indigenous Celebration Night is meant to recognize the culture, talent and creativity of Indigenous communities across Oil Country, the Oilers Entertainment Group said in a news release Thursday.
Some of the festivities Monday include the Logan Alexis Singers, the Running Thunder Dancers & Drummers, a special Turtle Island opening video, as well as local Indigenous artists, educators and business owners throughout Rogers Place.
Ashley Callingbull from the Enoch Cree Nation will also act as a special in-game host.
The Oilers will be wearing limited-edition Turtle Island jerseys during the pre-game warmup. The jerseys were designed by Edmonton-based Indigenous artist Lance Cardinal. The jerseys will be auctioned off at a later date.
Other Turtle Island merchandise will be available at the arena on Monday, with net proceeds going to local charities including the Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society and the Inner City Youth Development Association.
The 50/50 draw for Monday’s game will be in support of Spirit North, an organization that empowers Indigenous youth to be unstoppable in sport, school and life. As of Thursday morning, the jackpot was already over $210,000. Tickets for the 50/50 can be purchased at the game or online.
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“We are so pleased to partner with the Oilers Community Foundation for the Indigenous Celebration game,” said Beckie Scott, Spirit North founder and CEO. “Support from this event will contribute directly to our partnerships with over 40 Indigenous communities here in Alberta, helping to develop and deliver programs that connect Indigenous youth to sport, play, the land and ultimately, their potential.”
Other distinguished guests at Monday night’s game include: International Chief Wilton Littlechild, Grand Chief George Arcand Jr. (Treat 6 First Nation), Grand Chief Arthur Noskey (Treaty 8 First Nation), Audrey Poitras (Metis Nation of Alberta Provincial President), Edna Elias (Inuit Elder, educator and politician).
Kiya Bruno from the Samson First Nation will perform the Canadian national anthem in both Cree and English.
“We are honoured to celebrate the Indigenous people and communities across Northern Alberta and the Northwest Territories, and we are ever grateful to have such a passionate and supportive Indigenous fanbase,” OEG Sports & Entertainment executive vice president Tim Shipton said.