Hockey Canada is recognizing the Dryden GM Ice Dogs following their Truth and Reconciliation game in awareness and acknowledgement of the lost children and survivors of residential schools, their families and communities.
A video has been released by Hockey Canada showcasing the game, which was held at the Dryden Memorial Arena on September 25, where the Ice Dogs welcomed the Thunder Bay North Stars. Special guests included on the day were Reggie and Jamie Leach, the only Indigenous father-son duo to win the Stanley Cup. They also invited and honoured past Indigenous, Métis and Inuit players from Eagle Lake and sported special Truth and Reconciliation game jerseys orange jerseys.
"I applaud the Dryden GM Ice Dogs on their work and reconciliation and recognizing through their game, the importance of the day (National Day for Truth and Reconciliation). Hockey Canada is moving forward in working with our partners across the country including the CJHL, which the team is a member of," says Barry Renard, member of Hockey Canada Board of Directors.
Although the Ice Dogs came out of the night with a 2-1 loss in overtime, the team made history, being the first to host a Truth and Reconciliation game.
"And there may be many more to come. We recognize that all of our games are played on treaty lands. The importance as we move forward, whether it's maltreatment equity, inclusion, diversity, we're just finding ways for kids to play the game and we need to be way more understanding of providing opportunities in a safe environment. Part of that safe environment is understanding our history and being able to recognize and speak to that as we move forward," Reynard adds.
A 30-minute ceremony took place prior to the game's start. The ceremony started off with the Little Feather Drummers. That was followed by speeches from Eagle Lake Chief Arnold Gardner, Dryden Councillor and Working Circle Co-Chair Shayne MacKinnon, SIJHL Commissioner Darrin Nicholas, and Truth and Reconciliation Game Chair Natasha Lovenuk.
"It was an opportunity to recognize the history and celebrate the game together," he says.
The Dryden GM Ice Dogs will play host to the Red Lake Miners tonight and tomorrow. Puck drop for both games is at 7:30 p.m.