Fred Sasakamoose died on Tuesday from complications of COVID-19.

Fred Sasakamoose died on Tuesday from complications of COVID-19.

B.C. Indigenous hockey legend dies following COVID-19 complications

Fred Sasakamoose died at the age of 86

  • Nov. 26, 2020 11:34 a.m.

-Kamloops This Week

Indigenous hockey legend Fred Sasakamoose died on Tuesday (Nov. 24) in a Saskatchewan hospital from complications of COVID-19.

He was 86.

“Fred Sasakamoose survived the residential school system, became the National Hockey League’s first-ever Indigenous player and inspired many with his stories of suffering and success,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a tribute on Twitter. “He leaves behind an incredible legacy. My condolences to all who are mourning his passing today.”

Sasakamoose, from Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation in Saskatchewan, played 11 games for the Chicago Blackhawks during the 1953-1954 season and, after bouncing around the minor leagues for a few seasons, landed with the Kamloops Chiefs in 1956.

Sasakamoose, who played in Kamloops until 1960, went on to become chief of his First Nation and served his community for decades.

“Thank you for being a leader and paving the way for all of us Indigenous hockey players and helping us dream big,” former Calgary Flames’ star Theoren Fleury wrote on Twitter.

Sasakamoose worked for the last five decades to give Indigenous youth opportunities to participate in sports, helping establish the Northern Indian Hockey League, the Saskatchewan Indian Summer and Winter Games, Saskatoon’s All Nations Hockey School and a hockey camp.

He was among 125 appointees to the Order of Canada in 2017.

Solaine Sasakamoose, Fred’s great-grand niece, played last season for the TRU WolfPack women’s soccer team. Members of the Sasakamoose family reside in the Kamloops area.

READ MORE: Argentine soccer great Diego Maradona dies at 60

READ MORE: Former KIJHL president dies after cancer battle

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirushockey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Les Cleverly, formerly of Grand Forks Fire/Rescue, is suing the city as well as current and former city firefighters over alleged workplace bullying and defamation. File photo.
Former Grand Forks firefighter suing department, city over alleged conspiracy, constructed dismissal

Plaintiff Les Cleverly filed a notice of civil claim with the Supreme Court of BC in last week

From the left, Midway RCMP seized suspected cannabis, cocaine and fentanyl from a truck pulled over by Conservation Service Officers in the West Boundary Monday, Jan. 17. Photo submitted
Midway RCMP find suspected drugs in traffic stop by Conservation Service Officers

Cpl. Phil Peters said the CSOs were stopping local hunters on Highway 33

A Grand Forks Fire/Rescue water tanker makes it way up the hill on Gibbs Creek Road after a homeowner doused a chimney fire Wednesday, Jan. 20. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Rural Grand Forks homeowner douses chimney fire

Grand Forks Fire/Rescue said the man’s quick thinking put out the flames

(Big White Ski Resort)
28 more cases of COVID-19 linked to Big White cluster

More than 200 cases have been identified since the cluster was announced

The flag that would normally fly at the Grand Forks Legion was cut down early Sunday, Jan. 17, according to Grand Forks RCMP. Photo courtesy of the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 059
Flag vandalized at Grand Forks’ Royal Canadian Legion

Grand Forks RCMP said no one saw who cut down the flag Sunday morning, Jan. 17

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

(Pxhere)
B.C. nurse suspended after using Tensor bandage to trap long-term care patient in room

Susan Malloch voluntarily agreed to a three-day suspension of her certificate of registration

Abbotsford’s Skully White (left), who donated his kidney in December, has started a campaign to find other recipients and donors. The first candidate is retired police officer Gavin Quon. White owns and operates a hotdog stand, Lullys Food Experience, out of the Abbotsford Canadian Tire parking lot. (Facebook photo)
After donating his kidney, Abbotsford hotdog king starts donor campaign

Skully White donated his kidney to customer Tim Hiscock in December

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Toronto-based director Michelle Latimer was recently scrutinized after years of claiming she was of Algonquin and Metis descent. (CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)
Haida activist calls for hefty fines, jail time against those who claim to be Indigenous

Filmmaker Tamara Bell proposing the Indigenous Identity Act – to dissuade ‘Indigenous identity theft’

(File)
Man allegedly bites Vancouver cop during arrest for outstanding warrant

The officer was treated in hospital for the bite wounds

(File Photo)
Interior Health says COVID positivity rates in Fernie area actually 10-12%

IH say the rates are not as high as previously claimed by the region’s top doctor

Black bear cubs Athena and Jordan look on from their enclosure at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Association in Errington, B.C., on July 8, 2015. Conservation Officer Bryce Casavant won the hearts of animal lovers when he opted not to shoot the baby bears in July after their mother was destroyed for repeatedly raiding homes near Port Hardy, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Supreme Court quashes review of B.C. conservation officer who refused to euthanize bears

Bryce Casavant was dismissed from his job for choosing not to shoot the cubs in 2015

Francina Mettes and Thomas Schouten with the 200-page document they submitted in December of 2018. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Dutch man, 94, facing unwanted trip home can stay in B.C. with wife of 45 years

Immigration offices cuts red tape so couple of 45 years can stay together in Victoria area

Most Read