Canadian Paralympic Team presented with Maskwacis Cree Nation drum

Canadian Paralympic Committee

March 05, 2022

Drum will celebrate athletes at Beijing Games alongside chef de mission Josh Dueck


The Canadian Paralympic Team is honoured to have received the generous gift of a ceremonial drum from the Maskwacis Cree Nation, under the stewardship of Chief Wilton Littlechild, International Chief for Treaties Six, Seven, and Eight and a longtime supporter of sport. 

The handmade drum was presented in Maskwacis to Bob Steadward, Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame member and world leader in Para sport, following a traditional ceremony ahead of the Games. Treaty Six Elder Patrick Lightning conducted a travelling prayer song in the four directions during the ceremony, symbolizing how the Paralympic Games call people together from all points of Mother Earth.

Chief Littlechild describes features of the drum: “The four pegs we chose, that usually close the tepee, are significant in two ways. The colours represent the elements of life: blue for the waters, green for the medicine grasses, gold for the sun and red for the fire. Secondly, they also symbolize the principles of leadership: honesty, kindness, sharing and strength. The Maskwa (bear) spirit, tells about family (team), courage, strength, trust, and faith. These are embedded in the World Indigenous Nations Sport logo on the drum.”

The drum was then transferred to Para ice hockey legend and Beijing 2022 team member Billy Bridges in Calgary, and CPC president Marc-André Fabien in Vancouver before being delivered to chef de mission Josh Dueck, who is proudly carrying the drum in Beijing. Each member of the team was honoured to play their role in transferring the drum, which will be used to celebrate the athletes competing at the Games. 

As leader of the Canadian Paralympic Team, Dueck will cheer on the athletes throughout the Games with the drum closely in hand. The heartbeat of the Indigenous community will be heard by all members of the team as they compete at the Paralympic Winter Games, sharing the power of sport through their stories and performances. 

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