Sports In Brief: Hall of Honour, hockey and blanket ceremonies

Wednesday, February 1st, 2023 5:37pm


Image Caption

Colton Yellow Horn
By Sam Laskaris

Former athletes and builders will be recognized at this year’s North American Indigenous Games (NAIG), which will primarily be held in Halifax.

Officials from the NAIG Council have announced they will introduce its Hall of Honour, during this year’s multi-sport Games, which will be staged July 15 to July 23.

Besides Halifax, venues for this year’s Games will also be held in Dartmouth and Millbrook First Nation.

The NAIG Council is looking to recognize a total of six individuals, three athletes and three builders, to its Hall of Honour this year.

Those eligible to be honoured via the athletes category are former NAIG participants who have gone on to achieve significant success at national or international levels.

Another eligibility requirement is that the former athletes must now be retired from their chosen sports.

And nominees being sought should also have previously demonstrated support for the NAIG through promotional events, community engagement or other noteworthy activities.

Those eligible to be recognized in the builder category are former coaches, managers, officials, administrators, volunteers, sponsors or media members who have made outstanding efforts for more than 10 years within the NAIG movement.

Nomination forms, which are available at are due by March 1.

Yellow Horn starring in British hockey league

Colton Yellow Horn, now in his 15th season of professional hockey, continues to rack up his share of points.

Yellow Horn, a Blackfoot from Piikani Nation in Alberta, is currently toiling with the Coventry Blaze in the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL), the United Kingdom’s top hockey circuit.

Yellow Horn is one of Coventry’s top point getters and is averaging just under one point per outing. He had earned 34 points (14 goals and 20 assists) in his first 36 games this season.
Yellow Horn was just one point behind Johnny Curran, a native of Niagara Falls, Ont., and Sweden’s Kim Tallberg, who were tied for the team scoring lead.

For Yellow Horn, who is 35, this marks his second season in the EIHL. He had spent the 2021-22 campaign with Scotland’s Glasgow Clan, where he racked up 55 points, including a team-high 44 assists, in 54 matches.

During his career Yellow Horn has also suited up for five different minor pro franchises in North America. He’s also toiled for pro squads in Austria, Hungary, Japan, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania.

Little NHL executive appoints acting president

A familiar face will play a prominent role at this year’s Little Native Hockey League tournament.

Patrick Madahbee has been named the acting president of the event, which is more frequently simply called the Little NHL.

This year’s tourney, which will be staged in Mississauga, Ont., is scheduled for March 12 to March 16.

In recent years Madahbee had been serving as the political advisor for the Little NHL executive.

He’s also served as an executive member, president and past president of the tournament, which was first held in 1971.

Madahbee, who worked as a referee during the inaugural Little NHL, has been involved in some capacity with the event ever since.

The Little NHL has become the largest Indigenous youth hockey tournament in Ontario. Prior to the pandemic the event had been attracting well over 200 participating teams each year.

Madahbee was asked to fill in as Little NHL acting president in mid-January. That’s because Marian Jacko, who had been the president of the tournament’s executive since 2018, was required to step down from her position.

Jacko took a leave of absence from her Little NHL responsibilities because she was named to Hockey Canada’s new Board of Directors in December.

blanket ceremony
Saskatchewan GM Derek Keenan and Saskatoon Tribal Council Chief Mark Arcand with a star blanket presented prior to all Rush home games.

Rush stage blanket ceremony at home games

The National Lacrosse League’s Saskatchewan Rush have started a new tradition this season.

The Rush, which plays its home games in Saskatoon, started having a land acknowledgement prior to each match last season.

Those land acknowledgements have continued this year. And the Saskatchewan franchise has added a star blanket presentation prior to each home contest as well.

Saskatoon Tribal Council Chief Mark Arcand and Derek Keenan, the Rush general manager, wrap the star blanket around the visiting coach in a ceremony at centre floor. The blanket signifies a symbol of respect and welcoming from local Indigenous peoples.

Marshall Powless, a second-year Rush player who is from the Six Nations of the Grand River in Ontario, loves the new presentation his franchise has added this season.

“The blanket ceremony is heartwarming,” Powless said. “It’s crafted by an Indigenous person and when the receiver gets their blanket, they will always reflect back to our people, First Nations and Indigenous, and (that) hopefully lights an interest to learn more about who we are.”