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Kerrobert Tigers pay homage to retiree Tyson Wuttunee

Kerrobert Tigers hold special ceremony with cultural significance for their retiring captain, Tyson Wuttunee

KERROBERT — Feb. 12 will not soon be forgotten by Kerrobert Tigers captain, Tyson Wuttunee, or the Tigers organization, or the community.

On what ended up being his last game on home ice, the Tigers organization held a special ceremony prior to their playoff game honouring their captain for his retirement after 20 years in the league. See story on his history

President and coach of the Kerrobert Tigers, Brad Murphy, says, “There was a great turnout, the way the rink should be for games.”

Murphy adds, “We were happy to have Tyson’s wife Robbi, his three girls, brother Sheldon, his parents and other relatives in attendance for this special ceremony.”

There was much cultural significance in the pre-game ceremony as gift giving and trading is part of First Nation culture. Wuttunee’s family presented a special blanket and sweetgrass to him, while Tyson himself presented the team with a blanket and sweetgrass as well.

Sweetgrass symbolizes healing, peace and spirituality, while the gift giving of a blanket acknowledges relationship, honour, respect and recognition of the individual’s achievements.

Wuttunee’s three girls and his niece skated along with him pre-game, holding a Treaty 6 flag, a Métis flag and a Saskatchewan flag, which Wuttunee says was a wonderful moment for him.

Murphy adds that Wuttunee was given a pre-game solo skate, and chose to wear his original number with the Tigers, No. 12. He also had a momentous post-game skate and both of these appearances drew rousing applause.

Dakota Volk, Tigers executive member and longtime player, presented Wuttunee with a jersey as well as a banner that will be hung in the rafters to honour Wuttunee’s years of playing in Kerrobert. Wuttunee was given both his former number Mo. 12 jersey and current team captain jersey, No.71.

After Murphy spoke, Tyson’s brother Sheldon, whom Murphy said is well spoken, explained to those in attendance the significance of the gifts and offered thanks on behalf of the family.

Murphy added, “The respect and admiration for Tyson is phenomenal, both from the players, the community and the league."

The streaming service, Live Barn, could be accessed to watch both the pre-game ceremony and Wuttunee’s last game in Kerrobert.

Several people around the league and in attendance commented saying “He is a class act.” “As captain, he showed the next generation and young players in the stands what a true leader represents to his team.” “He will be missed on the ice with the Tigers, glad that his legacy banner will be hanging in the rink.”

Opposing team, Macklin Mohawks, came to the dressing room after the game to congratulate Wuttunee as well as joined in for a post-game social in the Double Takeout Lounge, showcasing camaraderie amongst players regardless of which team they are part of or the outcome of the game.