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Statue Honoring Former Blackhawk Fred Saskamoose Unveiled in Saskatoon

Sasakamoose, one of the first Indigenous players in the NHL, did not have a point in 11 games with the Chicago Black Hawks in 1953-54.
Photo: Michelle Berg/Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Photo: Michelle Berg/Saskatoon StarPhoenix

A statue honoring Fred Sasakamoose, one of the first Indigenous players in the NHL, was unveiled Wednesday in Saskatoon.

The former Chicago Black Hawks forward, who lived on the Ahathkakoop Cree Nation reserve in Saskatchewan, died at age 86 in November 2020 due to complications from COVID-19.

Sasakamoose did not have a point in 11 games with the Black Hawks in 1953-54. He made his NHL debut Nov. 20, 1953, against the Boston Bruins and played against the Toronto Maple Leafs two days later. He was sent back to Moose Jaw of the Western Canadian Junior Hockey League, but was called up for an NHL game at Toronto. Sasakamoose then attended Chicago's training camp in 1954, but was sent to the minors. He played hockey until he retired in 1960.

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Chicago pro scout Brigette Lacquette Ojibwe from Cote First Nation attended the statue reveal. The statue is at the main entrance of the SaskTel Centre.

Sasakamoose was inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 2007. Ten years later, he was invested in the Order of Canada, an honor that recognizes Canadian citizens for outstanding achievement, dedication to community, or service to the nation.