The Saskatchewan Rush says they have a new tradition every home game.

Prior to face-off, Tribal Chief Mark Arcand will present a Star Blanket to the opposing team.

The Star Blanket is used to honour, protect, and celebrate one’s achievements and both Chief Arcand and the Rush say they hope every team feels welcomed to Treaty 6 territory.

The team says each Star Blanket will be designed to showcase the team’s colours and logo and Arcand says he was grateful for the new tradition.

“I hope in this territory you are treated with respect and honour by indigenous and non- indigenous people,” stated Tribal Chief Marc Arcand in a post on the team’s website.

Also, coming up in the National Lacrosse League over the next couple weeks will be the Every Child Matters Campaign where teams will wear specially designed helmet decals to raise awareness of residential schools in both Canada and the United States.

MBC News spoke with Tyler Wawrick, Director of Business Operations for the Saskatchewan Rush, who says the Tribal Council has been “crucial” for their input in these areas.

Wawrick spoke on how Tribal Chief Arcand expressed to them the importance of these reconciliation campaigns not being a one time campaign therefore traditions like the land acknowledgment and now the Star Blanket ceremony have been introduced.

“Especially given the history and roots of Lacrosse,” said Warwick. “This is an Indigenous game and part of the game itself is bringing people together in healing, which is the top of the list of these movements.”

Wawryk also hopes the Star Blanket ceremony and the Every Child Matters campaign can help bring awareness of the residential school system to markets who may not be aware of the history.

We have teams from across North America, so it’s important to educate those different markets who may not be aware of what is going on,” he said. “Fans in Texas may not know what the Every Child Matters campaign is, but they are going to learn through this program.”

The Rush are next at home on January 28 when they welcome the Las Vegas Desert Dogs to the Sasktel Centre where before face-off Tribal Chief Arcand will present Las Vegas with a Star Blanket.

(PHOTO: Saskatoon Tribal Chief, Marc Arcand, and Saskatchewan Rush general manager Derek Keenan, welcomed Colorado Mammoth head coach Pat Coyle to centre field where he was wrapped in a star blanket. Photo courtesy of the Saskatchewan Rush.)