Akwesasne, Ontario – The Akwesasne Wild Hockey Club is gearing up to play in a major national tournament in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, from May 18-21, 2023.
The Wild are one of 40 hockey teams from across Canada that will be vying for gold at the Fred “Chief Thunderstick” Sasakamoose Tournament. This annual tournament honours the first treaty Indigenous player in the NHL and showcases Aboriginal hockey talent.
Fred Sasakamoose, of Ahtahkakoop First Nation, played for the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1950s, and his goal was to someday have an Indigenous team compete at the Olympics. He was inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 2007 and became a member of the Order of Canada in 2018.
The tournament is an exclusive event open only to players of Native American heritage, and the Akwesasne Wild ON, NY, QC had to be selected to participate in the esteemed competition.
“We’re really proud to be representing Akwesasne out in Saskatchewan at such a meaningful tournament with a lot of tough competition,” said player and team manager Ian Boots.
He added, “The team is excited, and we’ve been putting in the work, so we’re hoping to bring home some hardware this year.”
The team finished in the top eight in the 2022 tournament and have continued to grow and strengthen their roster since then, playing in multiple regional tournaments over the past year.
The Wild are holding a benefit dinner on Friday, April 21st, in Akwesasne, NY, on Route 37 across from Koi Express. Mona’s Catering will be set up and providing Chicken and Rib dinners from $15 to $20, with proceeds going to the team.
The team is also seeking sponsorship from local businesses to help alleviate the costs of accommodations, travel, and other expenses associated with playing in this tournament. Anyone interested in sponsoring can reach out directly to Ian Boots at [email protected].