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Teagan Littlechief wowed the audience with rendition of O Canada at the Grey Cup

Littlechief sang O Canada in three different languages.
Teagan Littlechief gained national attention by singing O Canada in English, French and Cree before the start of the Grey Cup in Regina on Sunday.

WHITE BEAR FIRST NATIONS - Saskatchewan Roughrider fans and residents of southeast Saskatchewan have long known that Teagan Littlechief is a gifted singer.

After all, she has been singing O Canada at Rider games for years. And she has been performing for fans throughout the southeast long before that.

But now there are fans across the country who know about her talent.

Littlechief sang O Canada prior to the start of the 109th Grey Cup in Regina on Sunday – a trilingual rendition that was in English, French and Cree, gaining lots of attention across the country before and after her performance.

“I couldn’t believe how big of a deal it was,” she said in an interview with the Observer. “I thought it was going to be the anthem, and something that was going to be … just another anthem for me. I never really got the publicity that I had with the Grey Cup anthem.” 

Littlechief earned the opportunity in part due to her experience of singing at Rider home games, but also because a friend asked her to sing O Canada at Country Thunder in Craven.

“He had mentioned to me that he wanted to try to get me in for Grey Cup. About … a month before the announcement came out was when he reached out and mentioned to me that I got it,” she said.

At first she was to sing O Canada at the Grey Cup in Cree, and then it was going to be in English and French, and then it was in all three languages. The announcement that she would be singing was made Nov. 9.

“The Riders put in a really good word for me,” said Littlechief.

There was also an online campaign earlier this year to have her be the anthem singer, which was great, she said.

Littlechief admits that she hadn’t spoken French in conversation since high school, and Cree isn’t her first language, but she has been learning Cree. Her Cree teacher helped her with that part of the anthem, and a friend in Carlyle helped her enunciate the French portion properly.

“Every time I would practise one part, I would send it to them, and they would point me in the right direction of where I was supposed to be,” said Littlechief.

She was feeling more confident than nervous Sunday afternoon, she said.

There was some negative reaction on social media to the way she performed the anthem, including some racist comments. But most of the feedback has been positive and the best part was the pride expressed in the community.

She is a youth support worker and addictions counsellor at White Bear, and she wants people to remember the importance of positive reinforcement.

“Since I work at the school at White Bear, a number of the little kids have been coming up to me and saying ‘Miss Teagan, I saw you on Facebook.’ ‘Miss Teagan, I saw you singing on TV.’ ‘Oh my gosh, Miss Teagan, you did so good.’ It’s been all of that, and I think that’s what I really wanted to hear.

“From adults, it’s amazing, but to hear it from the kids, who are the ones, they’re the ones I really wanted to show that hard work pays off and you can make anything come true. Dreams can come true.”

She expects this will help her singing career and Littlechief has picked up a number of gigs already. She has been asked by the Regina Pats to sing the anthem at a game in 2023, and she will continue to perform for the Riders if given the chance.

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