The true origins of ice hockey are unknown. Several theories suggest successive borrowing from sports such as the English game of bandy, the Scottish game of shinty, the Irish game of hurley, or lacrosse, as played by Aboriginal peoples.

Members of the First Nations can be proud to have influenced Canada’s national sport. The Aboriginal nations of North America have for a long time "run a stick across the snow", an activity known as "Snow-Snake". Some sources also suggest that the word "hockey" is derived from the Aboriginal word "ho-ghee", which is the name for a common injury in the game of lacrosse.

Since 1920, the Micmacs of Nova Scotia have made hockey sticks out of a single piece of wood. Very popular among North American teams, these homemade sticks were used by players until 1930. Like Canadians, the First Nations created hockey leagues. The number of games grew, the players improved and several were recruited by the National Hockey League.


The true origins of ice hockey are unknown. Several theories suggest successive borrowing from sports such as the English game of bandy, the Scottish game of shinty, the Irish game of hurley, or lacrosse, as played by Aboriginal peoples.

Members of the First Nations can be proud to have influenced Canada’s national sport. The Aboriginal nations of North America have for a long time "run a stick across the snow", an activity known as "Snow-Snake". Some sources also suggest that the word "hockey" is derived from the Aboriginal word "ho-ghee", which is the name for a common injury in the game of lacrosse.

Since 1920, the Micmacs of Nova Scotia have made hockey sticks out of a single piece of wood. Very popular among North American teams, these homemade sticks were used by players until 1930. Like Canadians, the First Nations created hockey leagues. The number of games grew, the players improved and several were recruited by the National Hockey League.


© 2001, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Members of the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation

Members of the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, Saskatchewan, the Aldina Pro Lites won the "Demers Cup" in 1947. This team remained unbeaten for six consecutive years.

CHIN

© 2001, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.


In spite of the harsh winters and glacial temperatures typical of Canada’s north, hockey fever swept Nunavut. With snow harder than cement and the iciest of winds, the Inuit communities adopted hockey as their national sport.

The inhabitants of Rankin Inlet, in the Kivalliq region of Nunavut, have only been playing ice hockey for about forty years. There were humble beginnings for the players of this sport, as huge cracks across the ice posed obstacles to skaters, the goalies used baseball gloves or caribou skin mitts to stop the puck and the early winters kept the players from lacing up.

In about 1975, an old building, the "Dome", was used as an arena. The natural ice was very thin and the heating non-existent. At least the hockey players were shielded from the wind blowing at -30 degrees Celsius. The fans gladly travelled by snowmobile to and from the arena to watch games. The "Dome" became the Forum for the inhabitants of Rankin Inlet.

In the following decades, hockey became increasingly popular. A real stadium was built and the Rankin Inlet Minor Hockey Association was created. The teams faced off against ones from Read More
In spite of the harsh winters and glacial temperatures typical of Canada’s north, hockey fever swept Nunavut. With snow harder than cement and the iciest of winds, the Inuit communities adopted hockey as their national sport.

The inhabitants of Rankin Inlet, in the Kivalliq region of Nunavut, have only been playing ice hockey for about forty years. There were humble beginnings for the players of this sport, as huge cracks across the ice posed obstacles to skaters, the goalies used baseball gloves or caribou skin mitts to stop the puck and the early winters kept the players from lacing up.

In about 1975, an old building, the "Dome", was used as an arena. The natural ice was very thin and the heating non-existent. At least the hockey players were shielded from the wind blowing at -30 degrees Celsius. The fans gladly travelled by snowmobile to and from the arena to watch games. The "Dome" became the Forum for the inhabitants of Rankin Inlet.

In the following decades, hockey became increasingly popular. A real stadium was built and the Rankin Inlet Minor Hockey Association was created. The teams faced off against ones from Yellowknife, Hay River, Churchill, Alberta and Iqaluit at various tournaments.

The people of Nunavut now hope to see one of their hockey players don an actual NHL sweater.

© 2001, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Little Tykes of Rankin Inlet

Little Tykes of Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, 1991.

CHIN

© Rankin Inlet Minor Hockey Association.


Learning Objectives

The learner will:

  • Investigate the role that hockey plays in Canada’s national identity
  • Explore the history of hockey in Canada
  • Investigate how the evolution of hockey equipment used by Canadian hockey players improved the quality and safety of the game.
  • Explore the evolution of the rules of hockey in Canada
  • Identify significant people involved in hockey in Canada
  • Identify historically significant arenas and rinks in Canada
  • Describe the involvement over time of Aboriginal peoples in hockey

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