Blood Tribe singer performs O Canada at Jays game

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. –

Nerves were high for Tsuaki Marule as she sang O Canada in front of thousands of fans at the Toronto Blue Jays game on Friday.

“It was an incredible feeling,” Marule said.

“I felt a lot of pride to be able to put on the show at Blackfoot, to represent my people, the Niitsitapi people.”

Marule, who is from the Blood Tribe, performed the national anthem in English, French and Blackfoot.

It is an experience she will never forget.

“I wasn’t able to speak Pied-noir fluently because of residential schools,” Marule said.

“A lot of my cousins ​​can’t because this break in our culture has happened, so for me to be able to sing the song in Blackfoot is a way to rebuild that language and that pride in your language and your culture because that’s what was taken a way.”

Friday marked the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation across Canada.

Marule says being able to perform nationally, while raising awareness for those who attended residential schools, made the day even more special for her.

“The Blue Jays wanted someone to represent an Indigenous tribe for Truth and Reconciliation Day,” Marule told CTV News.

“Because of what this day means, I have aunts, uncles and relatives who all attended residential schools, so I am very aware of the impact of this experience for them and our community.

“It is very moving that the Blue Jays make such a presentation to honor this day. I think that puts a lot of emphasis on this day.

A teacher at Red Crow Community College in Stand Off, Alberta, Marule began singing when she was in high school.

“After I went to the U of L and when I first taught in college I was teaching in the blood pool at an elementary school and it was a Blackfoot immersion program and the teacher Blackfoot Immersion asked me if I could teach him Grade 4. students to sing O Canada to Blackfoot for their year-end presentation,” she said.

“Since then, I have been asked to sing O Canada at various places in Blackfoot, so I’m really grateful to him.

The chance to sing at a Toronto Blue Jays game arose earlier this summer when Marule was visiting Edmonton.

“I was in Edmonton this summer and got a phone call from a guy who said he was with the Blue Jays and wanted to know if I would be willing to come to Toronto to sing the anthem. national at one of their games,” she said.

“At first I thought he was joking and I said ‘yes, of course’ and at the beginning of September they confirmed the date and they wanted me out because today is Truth Day and reconciliation.”

Marule says the support leading up to her big moment has been incredible.

“I’m really proud of where I come from and really excited to represent our tribe, Lethbridge and Alberta today.”

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