The Belleville Senators are proud to announce details of Indigenous Communities Night, on Friday February 4, 2023, when the Sens host the Rochester Americans (AHL affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres) at CAA Arena.
The Senators will be celebrating the past, present, and future of Indigenous Communities starting at 7:00 p.m., through a special pregame ceremony and puck-drop, an Anishnabe hand drum presentation in the first intermission and will be raising money for Tsi Tyónnheht Onkwawén:na Language and Cultural Centre, in support of Mohawk language learning programs.
“Language is at the heart of who we are as indigenous people. Our world view, our indigenous knowledge and everything that makes us who we are is embedded in our language,” said Tsi Tyónnheht Onkwawén:na Executive Director Callie Hill. “It’s much deeper than just our culture. So, for our children to have that positive self-identity as Mohawk people, they really must have that basis of language in their lives, especially in the younger years. It’s amazing to have the support of the Belleville Senators in promoting those programs and helping us to connect better with our neighbouring communities.”
Tsi Tyónnheht Onkwawén:na has been in operation since 1990 and currently runs programming for children and youth and offers an adult certificate program in Mohawk Language and Culture, in partnership with Queen’s University. Hill says they’re also raising funds to build a new permanent facility, on a 9-acre parcel of land donated by the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte Band Council, and they’re hoping to be shovel-ready this spring.
To celebrate Indigenous Communities night, the team is selling limited edition t-shirts featuring Kanyen’keha-inspired Belleville Sens logos, designed by local Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte artist Kory Parkin. The t-shirts are currently on sale via the team’s DASH Auctions page and are listed as “buy now” items, at a cost of $15 (plus taxes and fees). Portions of the proceeds of those sales will go towards Tsi Tyónnheht Onkwawén:na and the artist.
The first 1,500 fans entering CAA Arena that night will be able to take home one-of two limited-edition stickers of those Kanyen’keha-inspired logos. Plus, the Sens will host a market on The Ledge, featuring nine local Indigenous vendors, showcasing products like jewellery, art, baked goods (with gluten free options), leather, fur goods and more.
Those vendors include: