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

Just Posted

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The Victoria woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Anita Troop officially turns 100 on Sunday and cards are pouring in from around the world. (Courtesy Marina Miller)
Cards roll in from around the world for West Shore 100 year old

About 100 cards have come for the woman who turns 100 on Sunday

A cardboard man bearing Queen Elizabeth II’s royal cipher has been placed in a window at the Royal Theatre for at least several days. (Evert Lindquist/News Staff)
Mysterious cardboard figure appears in Victoria’s Royal Theatre window

The identity of the figure, which was moved there amid cleaning, remains unknown

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in Saanich parkland

The birds don’t often touch down in the south of the Island

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Most Read