Fans in the seat at the Bell Centre Saturday night took in their first full capacity Montreal Canadiens’ game since before the pandemic, and also witnessed a territorial acknowledgement for the first time in the team’s history.
“The Montreal Canadiens wish to acknowledge the Kanien’kehá:ka, also known as the Mohawk Nation, for their hospitality on this traditional and unceded territory where we are gathered today,” read public address announcer Michel Lacroix before the Habs games against the New York Rangers.
The Canadiens announced that the acknowledgement will feature before every home game, and is part of several initiatives Montreal has planed to support local Indigenous communities.
A pre-game ceremony later this season will coincide with Carey Price’s return.
“Tiohtià:ke/Montréal is historically known as a gathering place for many First Peoples,” the acknowledgement read accompanied by a white pine of peace that also features in the centre of the City of Montreal’s flag.
“Today, it is home to a diverse population of Indigenous and other peoples. We respect the continued connections with the past, present and future in our ongoing relationships with Indigenous and other peoples within this community where we have now had the privilege to play for over one hundred years.”
The Habs lost 3-1 to the Rangers on Saturday.