Hockey Night In Cree NHL game to be called in Indigenous language
History will be made this weekend with a game being delivered in an Indigenous language for the first time in NHL history.Sportsnet and APTN are teaming up to deliver the first-ever NHL game in the Cree language when the Carolina Hurricanes host the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday.“Even if you don’t understand the language please tune in!” said Earl Wood, a founding member of the Northern Cree Singers who will be in the in-show host for APTN during the broadcast.“There is a vibratory energy there that is completely going to reverberate through all Indigenous communities in Canada and beyond. The Indigenous languages are going to be showcased to the world. It’s going to be amazing!” he added.Sportsnet’s Rogers Hometown Hockey will be in Enoch Cree Nation in Alberta for the monumental broadcast.When asked about the importance of the broadcast, Hometown Hockey host Ron MacLean said it is hard to put into words.“I think it’s beyond the ability to convey,” he said. “We have just come through Truth and Reconciliation and there has been the report and there has been the acknowledgment and there has been apologies. We are in this period, what’s next? And I think for us to actually stage an NHL telecast with the help of the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network is so the next step.”So how deep is the connection between hockey and Canada’s Indigenous communities? One former NHL player with Indigenous roots says the game played an important role in his upbringing.“Hockey or sports in general is a great avenue to help you in life in general,” former NHL player Jordin Tootoo said. “The inclusivity of being part of a team is something that you know for me there were times I doubted myself but I had my teammates push me through the hardships.”Broadcaster Clarence Iron will have the play-by-play call for APTN. Live coverage of the game starts at 6:30 p.m. ET Sunday on Sportsnet.