Fred Sasakamoose reflects on journey to the National Hockey League

Fred Sasakamoose made history in 1954.

At the age of 20, he skated onto the ice at Maple Leaf Gardens and became the first indigenous person to play in the National Hockey League (NHL).

“That is an unforgettable memory of my life, to be able to reach and become and NHLer,” said Sasakamoose, who was born on the Sandy Lake Reserve in Saskatchewan.

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    READ MORE: Fred Sasakamoose and Ted Nolan concerned about future of aboriginal hockey

    When Sasakamoose was 16, he tried out for the Moose Jaw Canucks in the Western Canada Junior Hockey League, but homesickness threatened to end his career.  He even ran away once, getting as far as Chamberlain by foot, a 55-kilometre journey.

    His coach, George Vogan, found him and persuaded him to stay.

    “I wanted to come home, I didn’t fit in this world. White kids, 130 of them,” explained Sasakamoose.

    WATCH BELOW: Fred Sasakamoose overcame monumental obstacles to succeed in the world of hockey

    His grandfather taught Sasakamoose how to skate when he was six.  While his grandfather couldn’t talk or hear, he could see, and he would put three pairs of socks on Sasakamoose’s feet, then moccasins and strap on a pair of bob skates.

    He took two willows, cut then into the shape of a hockey stick and dried them by the fire to harden their frame. The puck he used was made of frozen horse manure. They would spend hours together on the pond near the reserve.

    When Sasakamoose was seven, he was removed from his First Nations home in northern Saskatchewan and taken 500 kilometres away from his parents to attend St. Michael’s Residential School in Duck Lake.

    “It’s hard to talk about residential school. There were a lot of things in there, that … well. Every Saturday night, we listened to Hockey Night in Canada, a whole bunch of us kids on this cement floor.”

    WATCH BELOW: Obstacles aboriginal kids face as they try to realize their hockey dreams

    Sasakamoose couldn’t afford a hockey stick, so he would work in the barn or sell his apple at lunch for extra money at St. Michael’s.  Over two years, he saved up enough money for a proper stick.

    His team, the St. Michael’s Mallards, or as Sasakamoose says, “the original Mighty Ducks,” would capture the 1948 Northern Saskatchewan Midget Hockey Championships.

    Eventually, Sasakamoose achieved what seemed the impossible and earned a spot on the roster of the Chicago Blackhawks.

    “Only 125 hockey players and six teams, and I was one of them,” noted the 83-year-old.

    READ MORE: Teaching aboriginal culture through hockey

    Compared to residential schools, hockey was a stark contrast for Sasakamoose.

    “It didn’t matter about your colour, you were a team. You played to win, you played to win together.”

    Ted Nolan, a former NHL player and coach, grew up on a reserve near Sault Ste Marie, Ont. He arrived on the hockey scene 30 years later and credits Sasakamoose and other indigenous players for paving the way.

    “All the guys on TV who had brown faces, those are guys that were inspirations for us. If they could, maybe we could, too.”

    But just like Sasakmoose, the success on the ice didn’t come easy.

    “When things are tough, one of the easiest things people do in life is to quit. You just have to find a way to persevere if that’s something that you truly believe that you can do,” Nolan said.

    “And for whatever reason I believed I could when I was skating with those Size 6 skates on a reserve with my feet being Size 3. No equipment, old stick, on an outdoor rink, thinking one day that I could play in the NHL, when I did, that’s why the tears came down.”

Thousands of Canadian Armed Forces members take part in massive training exercise

Nearly 5,000 military personnel are at CFB Wainwright in Alberta, taking part in the largest and most comprehensive military exercise of the year.

Exercise Maple Resolve allows the military to practise their skills in a setting as realistic as possible for when they are deployed.

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    “I think the only thing that is missing is that there are not real bullets flying,” said Col. Peter Scott, the commander of the Canadian Manoeuvre Training Centre in Wainwright. “We’ve created an environment that is as close as possible to what they will face on any given deployment.”

    READ MORE: Largest Canadian Armed Forces military training exercise underway in Wainwright

    The exercise is a force-on-force battle where Canadian troops work to liberate the fictitious country of Atropia from the aggressive nation of Ariana and re-establish the international border between the two.

    Those who take part in the exercise wear sensors at all times. There are also sensors connected to their guns and equipment. The technology allows their leaders to track the men and women in real time and see when and where a person has been hit by gunfire.

    “It gives the soldiers a real type of environment that they would face without actually using real bullets,” Col. Scott said.

    Soldiers play both friendly and enemy forces and use their expertise just as they would if it was a real-life battlefield.

    Soldiers practice skills from combat, to peacekeeping, building bridges – both literally and figuratively – with those in villages who are played by actors.

    Blackhawk helicopters practise medical evacuations and Hercules aircraft drop much-needed supplies to soldiers and villages.

    Troops from the United States, Great Britain, Australia and  New Zealand are also helping which allows the allied countries to work together in an environment where the realities of a deployment are replicated as closely as possible.

    “This training area is probably one of the best in Canada,” Col. Scott said. “It enables us to bring those forces together into a great training environment.”

    The soldiers are being tested. This is the last major training exercise before they’re at a high level of readiness, which means they are prepared to be deployed anywhere in the world where they are needed.

    WATCH: Canadian soldiers deployed to Poland

    “Whether you are a soldier or you are a leader or you’re staff, it definitely allows you to refine your skill sets,” said Maj. Mike Miller, who has taken part in the exercise before and has served overseas twice.

    He said the training is invaluable.

    “You get to link in with your allies, understand what you need to do to get yourself and your guys ready to go and conduct – whether its domestic or international – operations.

    The members sleep as they would if they were on a real mission, eat rations and there are no showers. They are exhausted and that’s the point.

    “Many of the soldiers are very tired, however, this accurately reflects an operational theatre of war,” said Lt.-Col. Ben Irvine. “The length of training (and) the complexity of the stressors applied are quite challenging for the members.”

    When the exercise is over, the entire group will sit down and look at what went right and what went wrong so soldiers can learn from their successes and failures.

    After days of observing the work of the men and women on the ground, Lt.-Col. Irvine believes the group will be ready to head into combat if need be.

    “I’m fully confident on completion of this exercise we’ll be able to not only meet but exceed any expectations from the army and the Government of Canada for any operations abroad,” he said.

    View a photo gallery of the training operation below:

    Canadian forces help their translator get medical attention during Exercise Maple Resolve

    Canadian forces help their translator get medical attention during Exercise Maple Resolve.

    Global News

    US troops return from playing opposition forces during Exercise Maple Resolve

    Global News

    Soldiers prepare to head out to Exercise Maple Resolve from the CFB Wainwright base

    Global News

    US Military ambulance parked during Exercise Maple Resolve

    Global News

    CH-147 Chinook at CFB Wainwright airfield.

    Global News

    The CC-130J Hercules at the CFB Wainwright airfield.


Chelsea Manning shows off new look after release from prison

NEW YORK, May 18 (Reuters) – Chelsea Manning, the transgender U.S. Army soldier responsible for a massive leak of classified material, shared a photo of herself for the first time since she was released from prison.

The portrait, which Manning shared on her 杭州桑拿会所 and Instagram accounts @xychelsea87, shows the 29-year old in a short-cropped hair wearing red lipstick and a dark deep-V-neck sweater.

Manning was released from a U.S. military prison on Wednesday, seven years after being arrested for passing secrets to WikiLeaks in the largest breach of classified information in U.S. history.

In this Aug. 20, 2013 file photo,Chelsea Manning, who then went by the name Bradley Manning, is escorted to a security vehicle outside a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md.

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File

Manning was convicted by court-martial in 2013 of espionage and other offenses for furnishing more than 700,000 documents, videos, diplomatic cables and battlefield accounts to WikiLeaks, an international organization that publishes such information from anonymous sources, while she was an intelligence analyst in Iraq.

WATCH: Obama defends decision to commute Chelsea Manning’s sentence

Many on social media congratulated Manning’s newfound freedom, with her post receiving 33,000 likes and 7,600 retweets on Thursday.

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76-year-old Alberta grandmother to graduate with her granddaughter

Monique Trottier doesn’t sit in the back row of a Red Deer, Alta. classroom because she wants to hide from her teacher.

It’s because the 76-year-old student uses a walker and it’s the easiest place to sit.

Known as “Nana” to staff and fellow classmates, the senior is trying to achieve a lifelong goal.

“It has been a dream of mine to graduate (high school),” she told Global News.

“I guess you could say it was on my bucket list.”

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    It was a dream because as a teenager growing up in Montreal, she dropped out of school.

    “I just had a hard time learning and I didn’t know why. Back in those days, you were dumb or stupid and the kids made fun of you.”

    The mother of five, grandmother of 13, and great-grandmother of seven went to work and later raised a family.

    It was only many years later she learned from another teacher why she had struggled so much in class.

    “She says, ‘you know what your problem is?’ I said, ‘No.’ She says, ‘you’re dyslexic.’”

    “I said, ‘Is it contagious?’ She said, ‘No, it’s not contagious,” Trottier laughed.

    This simulation shows what reading can be like when you have dyslexia

    Two years ago, she started giving her time at Red Deer Public School District’s Alternative School Centre.

    She had a positive impact on the students from the start, and they gave her an idea, too.

    “As I was doing the volunteer work, I would sneak a peek at the books and wonder if I could do that.”

    She started classes in February and she’ll graduate in June 2017.

    To top it off, Trottier won’t be the only one from her family walking the stage: her 17-year-old granddaughter is graduating, too.

    Brittny Berekoff says it’s a moment she can’t wait to share with her grandmother.

    “Forever we will remember this as something we did together,” Berekoff said.

    “It’s made me appreciate my learning more because I know how much she wants this.”

    It’s rubbing off on other students, according to principal Rick Ramsfield.

    “I have never seen a student like her before.”

    Many of her fellow students are doing better with their studies because of Trottier, Ramsfield said.

    “It was kind of this competition going on as to who is getting the better mark, so she’s been a great catalyst with kids moving forward with their own learning.”

    Now some 60 years after leaving the classroom, Trottier is sometimes surprised by her success.

    “I’m doing Grade 12 work and I’m understanding it! I’m not stupid,” she said.

    “My message is: don’t give up. Don’t believe what you hear,” she said.

    “Go for it! You’ll make it; you can do it.”

Ontario Provincial Police investigating after muskrat found injured in diaper box dies

GORES LANDING, Ont. – The case of a muskrat found badly injured in a diaper box has triggered an investigation by Ontario’s provincial police.

Investigators say they’ve determined the now-deceased muskrat was left in a Huggies box on the shore of Rice Lake at Gores Landing, Ont., about 40 kilometres south of Peterborough, Ont., on Monday evening.

They say a witness told them a mid-sized, four-door blue sedan drove into a boat launch area with three occupants — two females and a male driver — who all appeared to be 16 to 18 years old.

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Police say one of the female passengers allegedly placed the box near the water’s edge before the vehicle drove away. They say the witness investigated and found the injured muskrat.

The animal was taken to Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue centre in Bowmanville, Ont., where staff named it George, and then taken to a veterinarian on Tuesday for treatment of cuts to its mouth, broken teeth and an eye injury. The muskrat died a short time later.

Maine Coon in Australia may be world’s longest cat

Investigators are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the three people in the car.

Stefanie MacEwan, the founder of the rescue centre, had started a GoFundMe page to pay for George’s vet bills, but said Wednesday that some of the money raised — nearly $3,400 — would now go to pay for a detailed autopsy on the rodent.

George’s remains were to be sent to the Ontario Veterinary College located in Guelph, Ont., for the autopsy, MacEwan said.

Language researchers say traditional alphabet books are confusing for kids

A speech and language researcher says a lot of students in early grades don’t know the alphabet and how they are taught is part of the problem.

Denyse Hayward, associate professor in the University of Alberta’s Department of Educational Psychology, conducted a literacy test of more than 1,000 Canadian students aged three to eight, between 2012 and 2014.

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“When we went across Canada we found that many children who were Kindergarten age and Grade 1 age, and even some Grade 2 children, did not have very good alphabet knowledge, which we would certainly assume – particularly by the time they were in Grade 1 or Grade 2 – that they would at least know their letter names and many of the common sounds that they represented,” Hayward said.

“We were a little bit surprised by that.”

Hayward considers traditional alphabet books a big part of the problem. She says many of them aren’t based on literacy research or include features that provide kids with an easy introduction to their ABCs.

Watch below: Denyse Hayward says many alphabet books don’t present letters with common sounds that make learning the alphabet easier for kids.

The researcher and her colleague Linda Phillips have published Alphabet Stage in response. The book offers young readers the chance to trace the font, relate to each character with a memorable illustration and review each letter as they turn the pages.

“We know that alphabetic knowledge is really critical for reading and writing success but also your vocabulary knowledge and your oral language development, and so we’ve really worked hard in this book to provide parents and children access to all of those aspects that will help them become, hopefully, good readers and writers.”

Alphabet Stage is available at Amazon杭州夜网 or at Audrey’s Books in Edmonton.

Experiencing symptoms of menopause?Why avoiding hormone therapy could be a mistake

Davinder Bhullar was just 45 years old when she started experiencing symptoms of menopause.

“I had actually had a partial hysterectomy about seven years ago and started having symptoms in the second month,” the Calgary nurse said. “Water retention, forgetting things… I had heart palpitations and no energy.”

Suspecting her symptoms were related to low levels of estrogen, Bhullar began to ask doctors about hormone replacement therapy.

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“I had actually gone to quite a few [doctors] and I was deterred. Instead, I had a doctor recommend I take an antidepressant.”

Busting myths about menopause

Controversy and confusion has surrounded hormone replacement therapy (HRT) since a major study back in 2002.  An initial results paper from the Women’s Health Initiative grabbed headlines because it appeared to link HRT with an increased risk of breast cancer.

“HRT was branded as being harmful, something that women should certainly avoid, and it did unfortunately turn the tide and really turned the world upside down,” said Dr. Robert Langer, principal scientist at the Jackson Hole Centre for Preventive Medicine and a researcher involved with the Women’s Health Initiative.

Langer says results that linked HRT with cancer risk were largely misinterpreted and overstated. He says in recent years, research has lead medical societies to again recommend hormone therapy, especially for younger women.

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Last year, groups like the International Menopause Society  endorsed a new global consensus statement.  It states in part, “MPT (Menopausal Hormone Therapy) is the most effective treatment for symptoms associated with menopause,” and that for women under the age of 60, “benefits are more likely to outweigh risks.

“If (women) do have symptoms — hot flashes, night sweats, other discomfort, concerns about sexuality after menopause as well as other indications like prevention of fractures — HRT is something that they should well consider.”

Langer also warns that avoiding hormone therapy can have serious consequences for patients, putting them at an increased risk of heart disease, osteoporosis and bone fractures. A 2013 study estimated that over 90,000 American women died prematurely between 2002 and 2012 as a result of avoiding estrogen therapy.

Bhullar eventually found a doctor who was willing to prescribe hormone replacement therapy for her symptoms. She says she has now been taking low doses of estrogen for six years and has no regrets.

“In two to three weeks of taking [the hormones], my energy was back. I had no foggy brain, I wasn’t tired anymore and the heart palpitations stopped. I was back to my normal self.”

Judge rules to suspend N.B. PC Party nomination convention for Carleton-York

A judge has ruled in favour of Chris Duffie, suspending the PC Party’s convention to name their Carleton-York candidate scheduled for Friday and continuing a legal battle over whether the party member was unfairly kept from seeking the Carleton-York riding.

Duffie alleged the PC Party didn’t follow its own rules by failing to properly notify all members of the riding association that the convention had been scheduled and those seeking the nomination were required to submit documentation.

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On May 3, the New Brunswick PC Party made the decision to host the convention on May 19.

READ MORE: Denied N.B. nomination candidate says PC Party employed unfair practices

They posted an advertisement in the newspaper the next day, advising that candidates had until the end of the day May 5 to submit their nomination papers.

Duffie’s case argues that while the newspaper advertisement rule was sufficiently met, no formal notification was given to himself or other riding association members.

Duffie’s lawyer Kevin Toner told Justice Judy Clendening that only on a schedule of events hidden deep within the PC Party’s website was there any mention of the convention.

Clendening said that due to the injunction being filed just days ago it is in the best interests of both affected parties to suspend the upcoming convention and return to the case later in the month.

“I think what the judge said is fairly clear, given the short period of time it couldn’t possibly be fair to the [progressive] conservative party today so she’s going to set it aside,” explained Kelly Lamrock, who is representing the PCs in the case.

“If Mr. Duffie’s injunction is rejected it would be an uncontested nomination and it really does the party no harm,” he said, citing incumbent Carl Urqhart being the sole candidate seeking the nomination in Carleton-York.

“All I’m really looking for is an open, transparent and fair nomination for all,” said Duffie outside the courthouse after the decision came down. “Let’s bring everybody to the table. All I want is to take part in the democratic process.”

“Let’s let it all roll out.”

The two sides are set to return to court on May 29.

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Body believed to be that of missing Nanaimo teen found

A body believed to be that of a missing Nanaimo teenager has been found and police are treating it as a homicide.

Makayla Chang, 16, was reported missing on March 22.

She went missing in Nanaimo on March 20.

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Police said before they believed she could have traveled to Metro Vancouver with a 53-year-old man, Steven Michael Bacon. Police eventually located Bacon and spoke with him, but did not call him a suspect.

READ MORE: Missing Nanaimo teen may be in Metro Vancouver, RCMP say

A few weeks after Chang’s disappearance, a tactical team searched two Nanaimo properties in relation to the case. Officers were spotted at a home on Bruce Avenue that Chang was known to frequent. In an earlier search, RCMP looked at an area around Colliery Dam in connection with Chang’s case.

WATCH —; Apr 2, 2017: Nanaimo Search and Rescue searched a park in connection with the disappearance of 16-year-old Makayla Chang. 

The Nanaimo RCMP do not believe the public is at risk and will advise should the risk level change.

The investigation is being led by the Nanaimo Serious Crime Unit along with the assistance of other police resources.

Police say it remains a priority investigation, with dedicated resources tasked with determining the circumstances surrounding the disappearance and suspected homicide of Chang.

Police say Chang’s family is asking for privacy during this time.

Brandy McKee, a friend of the family, told Global News Makayla was a very upbeat, positive young lady with the biggest heart. McKee says the family is thankful to anyone who has shown concern for Makayla while she was missing.

“There was no doubt in our hearts that she was going to be brought home safely,” McKee said. “It was very devastating. [There is] a lot of disbelief and shock.”

McKee says the family has received no answers about where Chang’s body was found. The Nanaimo RCMP refused to comment on that aspect of the story on Thursday.

“It makes it extremely hard for the family at this time. They are going through absolute hell right now,” she said.

Police release image of vehicle at fatal south Edmonton stabbing scene

Edmonton police released an image of a vehicle that captured by a surveillance camera at the scene of a homicide on April 30.

READ MORE: Man found dead in south Edmonton 

Homicide detectives would like to speak with the individual or individuals that were seen in a dark-coloured Chevy HHR vehicle near 10682-61 Avenue on Sunday, April 30 at around 3 p.m.

Police said the vehicle was caught on camera driving to and from a home in the Pleasantview neighbourhood where the homicide happened.

Police also would like to speak with anyone else who visited the 61 Avenue basement suite the day of the fatal stabbing.

Chevrolet HHR: Captured on surveillance camera near homicide scene, 10682 61 Ave.

Courtesy: Edmonton police

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Someone called 911 with a weapons complaint at around 3:15 p.m. Officers arrived at the scene — near 106 Street and 61 Avenue — and found a man dead outside the back of the home.

The victim was identified as Jake Myles Skrepnek-Rey, 22.

A few hours later, an injured man was arrested at a hospital.

Investigators determined an altercation led to the stabbing.

READ MORE: 2nd-degree murder charge laid after fatal stabbing in south Edmonton 

Jayson Lunag Bay-Ag, 32, was later charged with second-degree murder. Detectives previously said they thought at least four other people were at the scene and knew either the accused or the victim, and may have information or witnessed the crime.

The incident was Edmonton’s 17th homicide of 2017.