Regina’s Brandt Centre witnessed a vibrant celebration of Indigenous culture as the Pats hosted Indigenous Celebration Night during their clash with the Edmonton Oil Kings. The game marked the second time the Pats donned special orange jerseys as part of the WHL’s Orange Jersey Project. This initiative, established in 2022, aims to use the power of sports to educate young athletes about the Indian Residential School System and foster truth and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.
Not only did the Pats secure a decisive 9-4 victory, but the event also saw the auction of game-worn Orange Jersey Project jerseys, raising an impressive $9,650. All net proceeds from the auction were donated back to the Orange Jersey Project.
There was notable support for the cause with the highest bidding jersey, belonging to Tye Spencer, fetched $750. Other notable bids included Tanner Howe’s jersey at $550, Jaxsin Vaughan’s at $525, Anthony Wilson’s at $500, and Ewan Huet’s also at $500.
Beyond the game, Indigenous Celebration Night featured a ceremonial faceoff involving Chief Bitternose of George Gordon First Nation, executives from George Gordon Developments, and prominent figures from the Pats with Indigenous backgrounds, including Shantz, assistant coach Evan McFeeters, and the Vaughan twins.
The evening’s cultural showcase extended to pre-game and intermission performances, featuring drum, dance, and singing performances by members of the George Gordon First Nation. For the first time in WHL history – the game was broadcast in Cree thanks to Clarence Iron. Iron joined voice of the Pats – Dante De Caria and colour commentator Kelly Remple in the broadcast booth. The public address duties were handled by Irving Montana of George Gordon First Nation while Pats anthem singer Teagan Little Chief of Whitebear First Nation sung the Canadian national anthem.
The Pats, through this event, not only celebrated a sports victory but also embraced the opportunity to promote understanding, respect, and appreciation for Indigenous culture within their community.