Date: January 30, 2007
Calgary, AB – Thirteen year old Akina Shirt from the Saddle Lake Cree Nation is set to sing the Canadian National Anthem in her native Cree language at the Saturday, February 3rd Calgary Flames vs. Vancouver Canucks game at the Pengrowth Saddledome.
"We are proud to present Akina's singing talent to our fans at the Pengrowth Saddledome and nationwide on Hockey Night in Canada," said Flames President & CEO Ken King. "This was a great idea that was presented to us this past summer by Chief Eddy Makokis of the Saddle Lake Cree Nation. It was a suggestion that fit wonderfully with our Alberta heritage and our commitment to community."
Akina is well on her way to becoming an accomplished vocalist. An aboriginal talent, Akina is from the Saddle Lake Cree Nation but lives with her parents in Edmonton. She is a grade eight honors student attending the Victoria School of Performing and Visual Arts. Akina currently participates in three choirs and takes guitar lessons.
Performance wise, Akina is a cool customer having had the opportunity to take the stage at many and varied events. Her most requested song is Ka Kanatahk, which is her rendition of our national anthem as sung in the Cree language which is a powerful tribute to the partnerships forged by Canada's indigenous people with the newcomers in the creation of our great country.
The Calgary Flames host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday, February 2nd before a huge divisional game against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday, February 3rd at the Pengrowth Saddledome.