National anthem sung in Ojibwe at Winnipeg Jets game

WINNIPEG — In a stadium packed with thousands of Jets fans, a group of Winnipeg students belted out the national anthem, but they did it a bit differently.

On Friday night’s Winnipeg Jets game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the group of Strong Warrior Girls Anishinaabe Singers, decked out in newly-designed Indigenous Jets tee-shirts, led the stadium in the singing of Oh Canada in Ojibwe.

“With the Jets, it’s a real honour to be able to promote the Indigenous logo and sing in the Indigenous language of Anishinaabe,” the group’s conductor Gloria Barker, a teacher at Riverbend Community School, told CTV News on Tuesday.

“Language is a very important part of who we are and our identity.”

As for Winnipeggers’ tradition of yelling ‘True North’ during the anthem, some took to Twitter to teach everyone how to yell it in Ojibwe.

The national anthem was just one part of the Winnipeg Jets’ Winnipeg Aboriginal Sport Achievement Centre (WASAC) Night. In addition, the Winnipeg Jets sported new Indigenous jerseys during the pre-skate.

While the jerseys will not be available for sale this year, True North said there will be an online auction for the new look on the NHL’s official website. It will run from Jan. 23 to Feb. 2, with the proceeds of the auction going towards WASAC.

-with files from CTV’s Glenn Pismenny