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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Willow, a kitten belonging to a Victoria family, was rescued by firefighters on Thursday after she got stuck in a basement drain pipe. (City of Victoria/Twitter)
Victoria kitten stuck in basement drain pipe rescued by firefighters

Willow the cat on the mend, owner feeling ‘enormous gratitude’

(Black Press Media file photo)
Blue-green algae bloom confirmed in Elk Lake, water-based activities not recommended

Blue-green algae can be lethal to dogs, cause health issues for humans

Victoria police arrested a man Jan. 15 after he rammed his minivan into an occupied police vehicle. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria man arrested for ramming minivan into occupied police vehicle

Man caught after fleeing, crashing into cement retaining wall

A fire sparked at an encampment between the Pat Bay Highway and McKenzie Avenue early Thursday morning. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Residents of Pat Bay Highway encampment to be relocated after early morning fire, site secured for clean up

Eviction notice issued in 2020, not enforced to allow BC Housing to connect with campers

Mayor Rob Martin and Costa Canna president Phil Floucault cut the ribbon on Colwood’s first cannabis retail store. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Cowichan Tribes’ Costa Canna cannabis store opens in Colwood

Cowichan Tribes has one-year deal to grow, sell cannabis

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Most Read