A Southern Saskatchewan First Nation Community Rink is Devastated by Fire
Media Release - FSIN Communications Unit
(Saskatoon, SK) The Ochapowace First Nation suffered a devastating loss today when the Fred Bear Communiplex was completely destroyed by fire.
The Fred Bear Communiplex was built in 1985. It was a fully functional rink with an artificial ice plant, as well as, a band hall attached to it. The Fred Bear Communiplex was used as a community centre hosting many events such as community feasts, family functions, bingos, and funerals.
“The Fred Bear Communiplex served as a focal point for not only the citizens of the Ochapowace First Nation but surrounding First Nations as well,” says FSIN Chief Guy Lonechild. “It’s a devastating loss for all these communities, especially for their talented, aspiring young hockey players who will no longer have ready access to a major sporting facility close to home.”
The First Nation developed the Ochapowace Minor Hockey Program, with players participating from the surrounding First Nations of Kahkewistahaw, Cowessess, Sakimay and White Bear. The Fred Bear Communiplex was also the host rink for the Ochapowace Senior Hockey Team, which participates in the Triangle Hockey League in southern Saskatchewan.
“The rink was also used for Hockey Development Schools for the young people, hockey tournaments as well as referee and coaching clinics for the area First Nations,” says FSIN Vice Chief Morley Watson. “Our hearts go out to the people of the Ochapowace First Nation. Hockey is quite popular in the community and surrounding areas. The loss of the rink will be felt by all.”