Cree Indian Hockey Team 1928
Cree & Ojibway Indian Hockey Tour
Sponsored by William Friday & Son's, the “Cree & Ojibway Indian Hockey Tour,” as it was billed on the side of the bus, featured the “Fast Ojibway Indians” versus the “Great Cree Indians.”
The Cree players were from Chapleau (according to one newspaper) or “the James Bay territory” (according to another). Papers weren’t concerned with such precision. It seems likely that the Cree team was drawn from Bear Island as well as Chapleau Cree First Nation, and possibly even Moose Factory or elsewhere.
Instead of standard Hockey jerseys, each player wore a “feathered head-dress,” buckskin tunic emblazoned with an C, and “beaded waists” on the ice.
William Friday and his brothers James, George, and Joseph were regarded as first rate trappers, and fishing experts. They worked as guides for the growing number of sportsmen and tourists coming into the Lake Temagami region after the construction of the railway in 1905 and the highway in 1927.
Business-mindedly, William Friday opened Friday’s Hotel at Bear Island in the 1920s, one of several lodges catering to the bustling tourism industry.