Fred Sasakamoose
Fred Sasakamoose-Hawks.jpg
Position Centre
Shoots Right
Height
Weight
5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
165 lb (75 kg)
Teams Chicago Black Hawks
Nationality Flag of Canada Canadian
Born December 25, 1933(1933-12-25),
Debden, SK, CA[1]
Died November 24 2020 (aged 86),
Saskatoon, SK, CA
Pro Career 1954 – 1960

Frederick "Chief Running Deer" Sasakamoose (December 25, 1933 - November 24, 2020) was one of the the first Canadian aboriginal players in the National Hockey League (Henry Maracle was the first), and the first First Nations player with treaty status.

He grew up on the Cree Ahtahkakoop Indian reserve in Saskatchewan and learned to play hockey at an Indian residential school in Duck Lake, Saskatchewan. In 1953 he was selected as the most valuable player in the junior Western Canada Junior Hockey League. He made his debut in the NHL for the Chicago Black Hawks at Maple Leaf Gardens the night of February 27, 1954. He played with the Black Hawks during the rest of the 1953-54 season, and in following years in the minor leagues. In 2002 he was honoured by the Blackhawks at a home game.

In all he played in 11 games for the Black Hawks.

After retiring from ice hockey, Sasakamoose became a band councillor on his home reserve and later chief for six years. He was also extensively involved in the development of sports programs for indigenous children. Since 1961 and beyond, he used his fame to promote opportunities for youth in sports which included ice hockey, long-distance running, track and field, soccer, and basketball. In 2002, he was honoured by the Blackhawks at a home game. He was inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in the builders category in 2007. He was also inducted into the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame, Meadow Lake Wall of Fame, FSIN Circle of Honour and the Canadian Native Hockey Hall of Fame. He was acknowledged for achievements and contributions by both the Assembly of First Nations and the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN). He was also a founding member of the Northern Indian Hockey League. He became a member of the Order of Canada in 2018.

Sasakamoose died on November 24, 2020 due to COVID-19.

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