Evan Taypotat is the Chief of Kahkewistahaw First Nation, and coach of their six-man high school football team: the Kahkewistahaw Hurricanes.

The team is only in its second year, and the program is still growing.

In a game last week against the Southey Eagles, the Hurricanes fought hard, but ended up losing 77-30. The number of touchdowns, however, wasn’t the most remarkable part of the game.

Raymond Aldinger, the coach of the South Eagles, approached Taypotat as the teams were running out, and offered him a package of cloth and tobacco.

“We always host a lot of volleyball, track and field, badminton and football now...and nobody has ever given us cloth and tobacco,” said Taypotat. The gesture by Aldinger was a first for Taypotat and his coaching staff.

The offering of cloth and tobacco is a gesture that stems back hundreds of years, from when Europeans first came to North America and met the Indigenous people.

“It was such a nice gesture and a surprise gesture. I turned around to my assistant coaches and we were all blown away,” said Taypotat. “I was talking to Ray and the other coach just recently over email, and I said, “I think you guys have started something that will be a long-lasting legacy within sports teams in Saskatchewan.”

Taypotat shared the post on Facebook after the game last Thursday. As of Sunday afternoon, the post had almost 1000 shares. In the post, Taypotat said, “Reconciliation is happening folks, albeit it slow, but it’s happening.”