The National Hockey League’s Minnesota Wild on Monday said the franchise is partnering with the Prairie Island Indian Community to celebrate Native American Heritage Day on November 26.
Native American Heritage Day, signed into law in 2008, takes place the day after Thanksgiving and honors Native Americans across the nation. The day celebrates the vibrant cultures, traditions, and heritages while recognizing the many contributions Native Americans have made.
When Minnesota hosts the Winnipeg Jets this Friday, Wild players will wear custom Native American Heritage hockey jerseys during the pre-game warm up. Designed by members of the Treasure Island Resort & Casino and Wild creative teams, the jerseys pay tribute to the Minnesota Native American community with a specially designed Dakota emblem and writing.
The custom jerseys then will be up for bid on the Minnesota Wild Foundation Handbid Auction platform November 26 through December 6. Proceeds generated from the auction will go toward supporting the Minnesota Wild Foundation.
The Wild organization launched the Minnesota Wild Foundation in 2009 in order to dedicate its unique resources to support children’s medical causes and to advance youth hockey throughout the state.
Fans can purchase a special Native American Heritage Day ticket package, with a portion of ticket sales donated back to the Lower Phalen Creek Project. T-shirt jerseys that feature the specially designed Dakota emblem will be given to the first 5,000 fans attending Friday’s game.
The Prairie Island Indian Community and Treasure Island Resort & Casino are working this hockey season to support The Big Assist Program. For every assist made by Wild players during regular season games, Treasure Island Resort & Casino will donate $200 to the Wild Foundation to support diversity in hockey programming. The program will support removing any barriers associated with playing hockey by providing scholarships, equipment and access to opportunities to play to youth from diverse backgrounds and fund opportunities for youth hockey associations to apply for resources to support diversity, equity and inclusion in their community programs.
As of November 15, Minnesota has registered 76 assists in 14 games this season, raising $15,200 for the Wild Foundation.
A partner of the Minnesota Wild for over two decades, Treasure Island Resort & Casino and the Prairie Island Indian Community have supported the Minnesota Wild Foundation through community giving since its inception in 2009. Through initiatives such as The Big Assist Program, the Prairie Island Indian Community has donated more than $1m to the Minnesota Wild Foundation.
“Our tribe is proud to be active and engaged in Minnesota, and giving back is at the core of who we are as Dakota people,” Shelley Buck, Prairie Island Indian Community Tribal Council president, said in a statement. “Our partnership with the Wild gives us a platform to share our story and celebrate our culture with the community, which we are honored to do on this national holiday.”
Minnesota Wild Foundation executive director Rachel Schuldt added: “The Minnesota Wild Foundation has a long-standing relationship with the Prairie Island Indian Community. We are grateful for this partnership that allows us to preserve the great hockey tradition in our state helping families afford to play the game they love as well as supporting children’s medical related charities.”
The Prairie Island Indian Community owns and operates Treasure Island Resort & Casino, Mount Frontenac Golf Course and Dakota Station. Treasure Island Resort & Casino is the only casino in southern Minnesota located on the Mississippi River. The property features more than 2,200 slots, 44 table games, a poker room and a recently refreshed 500-seat high stakes bingo hall. The property’s 788-room hotel, which includes the Wolf Tower, is the second-largest hotel in Minnesota.