Players battle for the puck during the Ice Hockey World Championships Group A match between Russia and Denmark, in Moscow, Russia, on Thursday, May 12, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Ivan Sekretarev

Funeral service for Indigenous hockey pioneer Sasakamoose to be held

A funeral service for Indigenous hockey pioneer Fred Sasakamoose will be held today at an arena named in his honour.

Sasakamoose died of complications from COVID-19 on Nov. 24. He was 86.

Sasakamoose played 11 NHL games with the Chicago Blackhawks in 1953-54, becoming one of the first Indigenous players in the then-six-team league.

During his time in Chicago, he faced off against greats like Maurice Richard and Gordie Howe.

Due to COVID-19 protocols, a maximum of 30 people will be allowed to pay their respects in person at the Fred Sasakamoose Community Arena, located in Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation north of Saskatoon.