Hockey Night in Indian Country: Spokane Chiefs Host Native American Culture Night
By Jack McNeelThe Spokane Chiefs and Tri-City Americans were on the ice and the bleachers were nearly full with more than 8,300 hockey fans but this was Native American culture night and local tribes were well represented both in the bleachers and on the ice. Cheldon Ramos and his brother Quanah, Colville tribal members, skated onto the ice in full regalia carrying an eagle staff and eagle dance stick. Skating with them were D.J. Pacheco from Laguna Pueblo and James Porter, Jr. from the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, each wearing their hockey gear.
Joining them were Imani Antone, Miss Coeur d’Alene Tribe and Little Miss Coeur d’Alene Tribe, Kathryn Matt. They wore beaded crowns and jingle dresses and dropped a ceremonial hockey puck onto the ice, the customary start of a hockey match.
And:The Coeur d’Alene and Kalispel tribes are already sponsors of the team and this game fell on a night when the Coeur d’Alene Tribe sponsored a bingo contest during the hockey match and gave away Chiefs’ jerseys and gift cards for the Coeur d’Alene Casino.
One of the Chiefs players, Todd Fiddler, is a Cree member from Saskatchewan. A few other Natives have played for the Chiefs in past years as well. Todd signed autographs following the game for roughly 150-200 people, mostly Native Americans. “They thought that was pretty neat,” Apple said.
Comment: Looks like the Chiefs' logo is the letter "C" with stylized feathers. That's only a bit stereotypical, especially since two tribes sponsor the team.
For more on Indians and hocke
y, see Aboriginal Hockey TV Reality Show
and Eight Native Players on Stanley Cup
Below: "Cheldon and Quanah Ramos, in regalia; DJ Pacheco, Laguna, and James Porter, Jr., Kootenai, players." (Jack McNeel)
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