Indigenous students to perform national anthem in Ojibwe at Jets game

By | January 14, 2020

WINNIPEG — Singing the national anthem before a hockey game is a longstanding tradition, but at this Friday’s Winnipeg Jets game, it will be sung in a non-traditional way.

A group of Winnipeg students at Riverbend Community School will belt out the anthem in Ojibwe.

The Strong Warrior Girls Anishinaabe Singers are performing the anthem at the Winnipeg Jets’ Winnipeg Aboriginal Sport Achievement Centre (WASAC) Night.

“With the Jets, it’s a real honour to be able to promote the Indigenous logo and sing in the Indigenous language of Anishinaabe – that is an honour,” said Gloria Barker, a teacher at Riverbend Community School.

“Language is a very important part of who we are and our identity.”

Along with the Ojibewe performance of the national anthem, the Winnipeg Jets will be sporting new Indigenous jerseys during their pre-skate.

READ MORE: Jets and Moose sport new Indigenous logos

“I’m excited and nervous,” said one of the singers. “I’m excited to wear the new Jets logo.”

Barker said she is proud of her students and hopes it will inspire other Indigenous people and groups to be proud of their traditional languages.

-with files from CTV’s Scott Andersson