The Chicago Blackhawks name and logo symbolizes an important and historic person, War Leader Black Hawk, whose leadership and life continues to inspire generations of Native American people, American veterans and our very own Blackhawks community.

That’s why for more than a decade, the organization has sought new ways to grow in our commitments to honor, support and celebrate Black Hawk’s legacy, his tribe – the present day Sac & Fox Nation, and other Native American communities. 

Presently, we engage five formal partners and more than 15 advisory relationships to help guide our programming. Guidance from these groups helps establish our priorities and commitments to the Native American community and our namesake Black Hawk’s ancestral tribe, including grant programs, collaborative exhibits and installations, language preservation projects, game day materials, resources invested in identifying future opportunities and more.

Legacy of Black Hawk

Black Hawk, or Ma ka tai me she kia kiak, was a respected dignitary and proud leader for the Sauk tribe (present-day Sac & Fox). He committed his life to the preservation and protection of his people, his family and the land they were connected to. Today, Black Hawk is still highly revered in the Sac & Fox Tribe, and his legacy carries on nearly 200 years after his death.

The Chicago Blackhawks name and logo symbolizes this important and historic person, whose leadership and life continues to inspire generations of Indigenous people, American veterans and our very own Blackhawks community.

You can learn more about Black Hawk's legacy through the link below.

Land Acknowledgement

A Land Acknowledgement is a formal statement that recognizes the unique and enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories. 

We recognize the land is an expression of gratitude and appreciation to those whose territory you reside on, and a way of honoring the Indigenous people who have been living and working on the land from time immemorial. It is important to understand the long-standing history that has brought you to reside on the land, and to seek to understand your place within that history, and acknowledging the land is Indigenous protocol.

In addition to recognition within our physical and digital spaces, the Chicago Blackhawks open all home games, public events and other gatherings by acknowledging the traditional Native American inhabitants of the land we inhabit.

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Programs & Initiatives

Youth Education Scholarship Program

In collaboration with the Sac & Fox Nation's education department, the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation funds two four-year scholarships for Sac & Fox high school seniors to assist in their continued college or university education alongside additional exposure to career-building opportunities. The Black Hawk and Jim Thorpe Awards will respectively recognize students' outstanding leadership skills and athletic accomplishments. With multiple winners annually, we will build toward a cohort of approximately 20 Sac & Fox youth scholars over five years.

2024 Scholarship Winners:

  • Black Hawk Leadership Scholarship: Malachi E. Grass - From Tulsa, Okla., Malachi has the aspiration to go into physical therapy and is looking forward to beginning classes at the University of Oklahoma in August.
  • Black Hawk Leadership Scholarship: Erica Evelyn J. Cline - From Meeker, Okla., Erica will be attending the University of Oklahima and plans to become a Pediatric Nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
  • Black Hawk Leadership Scholarship: Breyana Sarae N. Ramirez - From Flandreau, S. Dak., Breyana plans to attend Haskell Indian Nations University to pursue Indigenous and American Indian Studies with an associate in Natural Science.
  • Jim Thorpe Athletic Scholarship: Kimberly R. Wood - From Meeker, Okla., Kimberly’s career goal is to attend college to earn a degree in both kinesiology and physical therapy.

Past Winners:

  • Black Hawk Leadership Scholarship: Payton Rice, Katrina Garcia, Katherine Meeks, Landon Primeaux
  • Jim Thorpe Athletic Scholarship: Ethan Song Patton, Landon Primeaux

Native American Veterans

As multiple government records show, Native Americans serve in the United States military at a higher rate than any other demographic. The Chicago Blackhawks are proud to recognize our nation's Native American veterans, including many who have been honored on the ice during the national anthem as part of the team's Military Salutes program.

Trickster Cultural Center has been an integral partner since the inception of this program, with many Native American veterans on the ice also featured within Trickster's "Wall of Honor."

Native American Heritage Month Game

Each season, the Chicago Blackhawks honor Native American Heritage Month with a celebration of Native American culture during a Blackhawks game in November.

In Nov. 2023, the annual night was centered around the cultural celebration shared by tribes across North America: the Powwow. This traditional gathering provided an immersive experience for fans before puck drop in the United Center, complete with a dance competitions featuring more than 65 competitors from across the country, indigenous food tastings and artisan shop featuring Native goods from two Chicago-based indigenous families, and a special photo wall showcasing images from the past two Sac and Fox Nation Powwows.

During the game, the team honored two Native American veterans during the national anthem, paying homage to their heritage and contributions to the armed forces, and the Grammy-winning Northern Cree Drum Group held a live performance during an intermission. The organization also spotlighted the late Sonny Masquat, Jr., a Sac & Fox veteran who was instrumental to the Black Hawk helicopter dedication at the tribe’s veterans memorial.

Game & Event Policies

We have always maintained an expectation that our fans uphold an atmosphere of respect, and after extensive and meaningful conversations with our Native American partners, we have formalized those expectations. Headdresses are prohibited for fans entering Blackhawks-sanctioned events or the United Center for home games. 

These symbols are sacred, traditionally reserved for leaders who have earned a place of great respect in their Tribe, and should not be generalized or used as a costume or for everyday wear.

Meet the Designers

Jacenia Desmoulin

Jacenia Desmoulin, a young Anishnaabe artist from Biigtigong Nishnaabeg, is the talented graphic artist who designed the Native-inspired art for this webpage. 

Among other elements, Jacenia says one of her inspirations for this design was the Four Sacred Medicines. Tobacco is the first plant that the Creator gave to Native people. It is the primary activator of all the plant spirits. Three other plants, sage, cedar, and sweetgrass, follow tobacco, and together they are referred to as the four sacred medicines, which are used in everyday life and ceremonies (Source).

Patrick Hunter

Ojibwe artist and graphic designer Patrick Hunter created the designs that accompany the Blackhawks' Land Acknowledgement inside the arena and featured on this webpage. 

What Patrick created was an appropriately spectacular extension of the land itself. His graceful, vivid florals and greenery resemble the designs used in historic Ojibwe bandolier bags and clothing, all made in the likeness of the foliage that comes from the land. His stylistic feathers represent the spiritual and traditional understanding that eagle feathers hold a significant place in the belief systems of each of the Nations who have stewarded these lands since time immemorial. (Source)