Finalist for the Mary Scorer AwardThey Call Me Chief tells the fascinating stories of Native athletes who overcame tremendous obstacles to star in the National Hockey League. From Fred Sasakamoose (Chief Running Deer on Skates), who emerged from the abuse of Canada’s residential school system to become the first Indian to play in the NHL, to Reggie Leach (The Riverton Rifle), whose battle with the bottle kept him out of the Hockey Hall of Fame, They Call Me Chief chronicles the journeys of North America’s most famous “warriors on ice” as they battle racism, culture shock, isolation and other roadblocks to success. They Call Me Chief is essential reading not only for fans of Canada’s national game, but as an integral chapter of North American culture and history. In it, we meet a collection of very different men who become the authors of their own stories. There’s the story of Fred Sasakamoose, who misses his wife and, after being denied a plane ticket, takes a taxi 700 miles to get to her. Or when Bryan Trottier has to use his border collie as goalie to practise his shot because local children called him “half-breed.” And when Ted Nolan, NHL Coach of the Year, is blacklisted and his fans do the tomahawk chop. Then there’s Ron Delorme who, after scouting UND Fighting Sioux in South Dakota, was chased by rednecks because of a mascot issue. And in recognition of George Armstrong, the longest serving captain in NHL history.
With a Foreword by Phil Fontaine, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, and endorsements by hockey buffs Elijah Harper and Adam Beach.
News & Reviews
“While a sports-based work with a broad appeal to hockey fans, this is also a worthwhile read with broad sociological and political impact.” —Toronto Star
About the Author
Don Marks was a Winnipeg-based writer, filmmaker, and sportscaster. Marks was once a street youth before being adopted by a First Nations family, and his work reflects a lifelong interest in Indigenous issues. His books are: Playing the White Man’s Game and They Call Me Chief, which was a Canadian best-seller. He also wrote and directed many documentaries, variety specials, music videos, and television episodes that highlighted Indigenous artists and athletes. Don Marks died in 2016.