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

Do you have a Roses and Raspberries? Email editor@wltribune.com. Angie Mindus photo
ROSES AND RASPBERRIES: ‘Mistleroses’ for Santa-sized bags of gifts at Seniors Village

It was as wonderful as discovering unexpected gifts under a real tree!

Williams Lake and the Chilcotin is part of a community cluster declared by Interior Health Jan. 20, 2021. (Angie Mindus file photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
53 more COVID-19 cases linked to ‘social gatherings’ in Williams Lake: Interior Health

Cariboo Chilcotin schools have seen a surge in COVID-19 exposures

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

Esk’etemc First Nation (Alkali Lake) Chief Fred Robbins takes part in Secwepemc Health Caucus’s “Raising Our Spirits” ceremony Friday, Jan. 22. (Secwepemc Health Caucus Facebook image)
Secwepemc Nation raises spirits through song

More than 150 join virtual ceremony

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021 is International Lego Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 24 to 30

Lego Day, Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day and Puzzle Day are all coming up this week

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

Most Read