Pats raise over $15,000 for Orange Jersey Project as part of Indigenous Celebration Night
Wednesday represented a special night at the Brandt Centre in Regina as the Pats hosted Indigenous Celebration Night with the Brandon Wheat Kings in town for an East Division matchup.
As a part of the evening, the Pats sported the special-edition orange jerseys that were a part of the WHL’s Orange Jersey Project initiative, marking the first time those limited-edition uniforms were worn for a WHL Regular Season game.
Established in 2022, the Orange Jersey Project strives to use the power of sport to serve as a vehicle toward educating today’s young athletes about the history of the Indian Residential School System and to strengthen the path toward truth and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.
As a part of the Pats auction of the game-worn Orange Jersey Project jerseys, a gross total of $15,300 was raised with 100 per cent of the net proceeds donated back to the Orange Jersey Project. Connor Bedard’s game-worn No. 98 sweater was auctioned off for a high mark of $5,125.
In Regina, the Pats game night showcased Indigenous Culture to acknowledge the relationships shared with all Indigenous peoples in Treaty Four Territory.
Prior to the game, the Pats held a ceremonial faceoff with File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Chief Jeremy Fourhorns, Starblanket First Nation Chief Michael Staff, and Muscowpetung First Nations Chief Melissa Tavita dropping the pucks. Zackary Shantz of the Pats and Nolan Flamand of the Wheat Kings, both Indigenous players, took the ceremonial faceoff on behalf of the two Clubs.
In addition to the ceremonial faceoff, a number of pre-game and intermission performers brought Indigenous culture to the stage, including the Yellow Creek Singers, Patience Benjoe, Ira McNab, Nadine Obey, and Vince Obey.
The public address duties were handled by Darian Agecoutay, who announced in Cree while Pats anthem singer Teagan Little Chief sung the Canadian national anthem in Cree as well.
Amazing evening we spent in partnership between the @WHLPats, @FHQDev, @topacontracting and @FHQTC!!!
Great community and appreciate all the fans that wore orange that evening!
Special shout-out to my daughter Patience, our jingle dress dancer, for making her family proud!
— Thomas Benjoe (@tombenjoe) March 17, 2023
To help provide people with an understanding of the various traditional territories of Indigenous people in western Canada, the WHL worked with the Orange Shirt Society and Orange Jersey Project to launch an informative webpage, which includes a map of western Canada complete with the borders of the traditional lands of Indigenous peoples and the locations of WHL Clubs, relative to these traditional lands.
One of the first steps Canadians can take on the journey towards reconciliation is to educate themselves by reading the 94 Calls to Action identified by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
Since the closure of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation has confirmed over 4,100 individuals were lost to the Indian Residential School system.
SUPPORT: If you are a Survivor of or family member impacted by the residential school system and need emotional support, a national crisis line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Residential School Survivor Support Line: 1-866-925-4419
About the Orange Shirt Society
The Orange Shirt Society was formed in Williams Lake by the founders of Orange Shirt Day to encourage and support communities to recognize Orange Shirt Day and to support reconciliation events and activities. Our goal is to create awareness of the individual, family, and community intergenerational impacts of Indian Residential Schools through Orange Shirt Day activities, and to promote the concept of “Every Child Matters.”