Victory song at Olympic curling trials in Saskatoon 'put reconciliation on the map'

The Saskatoon Tribal Council brought Indigenous culture to the 2021 Tim Hortons Curling Trials.

The opening ceremonies saw a powwow grand entry with community flags. At the end of the tournament, the winning teams of Jennifer Jones and Brad Gushue were presented with blankets adorned with the Curling Canada logo, STC logo and a recognition of Treaty Six territory, as a gift from Indigenous people, STC Chief Mark Arcand said.

“We are so pumped, you know as the City of Saskatoon, Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, that we made history,” Arcand said.

Indigenous dancers also performed a victory song. Arcand said he’d like to see similar events happen across Canada, “because it's really moving the needle” for reconciliation.

“We have most of the SaskTel Centre, all the fans dancing with us in our Indigenous style to honour the winners. So that's going a long way above and beyond. People were clapping to the drum beat so very inspiring and very moving to everyone that attended.”

He said Saskatoon is leading the way in Indigenous and non-Indignous people working together.

“And this is a big step in history where nobody's ever done this and we're proud of this at the Saskatoon Tribal Council. Chiefs are proud, our communities are proud because we put reconciliation on the map for Indigenous people in a national event.”