Die-hard fans cheer on the Boston Bruins from Kahnawake ‚ÄĒ the reason why is rooted in history
|globalnews.ca 12 Jun 2019 at 13:56|
Montrealers are notorious Boston Bruins haters; it‚Äôs a heated, emotional rivalry that has spanned decades and generations ‚ÄĒ except in one community on the south shore.
With the Bruins getting ready to face off against the St. Louis Blues in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final, die hard fans in Kahnawake, a First Nations reserve, are proudly donning their black and gold.
‚ÄúI‚Äôve been a Bruins fan a long time. Probably since the ‚Äô80s, I would say,‚ÄĚ Kahsennenhawe Sky-Deer, chief of the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake.
‚ÄúBoston wears our colours: black and yellow. Black and gold have always been Kahnawake colours in hockey, lacrosse.‚ÄĚ
The council‚Äôs chief says he has five jerseys, three sweatshirts, seven hats, 10 T-shirts, as well as black and yellow shoes to celebrate his favourite team.
‚ÄúYou see people making sure they‚Äôre wearing their colours. The Bruins fans are a loud bunch. They like to let you know they‚Äôre Bruins fans,‚ÄĚ said Joe Delaronde, Mohawk Council of Kahnawake spokesperson ‚ÄĒ and a rare Montreal Canadiens fan.
The community has even held events at its youth centre to celebrate the playoffs.
‚Äú[I‚Äôve] definitely been a Bruins fan my entire life,‚ÄĚ said Kyle Zacharie, Kahnawake youth center director of operations.
The reason for why so many people in Kahnawake are Bruins fans is simple:
‚ÄúHistorically, Kahnawake and Boston are blue-collar towns. They work for their money and they gel together. We have a lot of Mohawks in Boston doing iron work there,‚ÄĚ explained Brian Goodleaf, of Goodleaf‚Äôs Auto.
Generations of Mohawk men have worked as iron workers at Local 7 in Boston.
‚Äú[There are a] lot of New York Rangers fans in Kahnawake because a lot of their fathers worked in the States and worked in New York, but there were [also] a lot that worked in Boston,‚ÄĚ Delaronde explained.
‚ÄúWhen I was young, just about everybody‚Äôs father was an iron worker.‚ÄĚ
Bruins fever only rose higher when Stan Jonathan, a member of the First Nations Tuscarora band, was drafted into the NHL in 1975.
‚ÄúFrom that moment on, you saw people either switching allegiance, or when they were young, becoming fans because that guy‚Äôs one of ours. That had a big impact. People remembering, ‚Äėwow that tough guy, he‚Äôs one of us. We consider ourselves a tough people, generally, so that was something.‚ÄĚ
Bruins fans on the reserve have just one goal left: ‚Äúhopefully we‚Äôll be going to the parade next week in Boston,‚ÄĚ hopes Goodleaf.