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Bret Hart Honorably Named “Courageous Chief” by Blackfoot’s (Siksika) Elder Clarance Wolfleg Senior

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Thanks to Jarvis G. for the following:

Wrestling legend, Bret Hart has been honorably named “Courageous Chief” by Blackfoot’s (Siksika) elder Clarance Wolfleg Senior. The traditional naming ceremony took place in Calgary at Mount Royal University’s T-Wing Courtyard this past Thursday.

Hart received this honor partly because of the work he and his late father Stu Hart did for the First Nations youth, promoting wrestling and sports involvement in Alberta. Wolfleg said that this ceremony represents Bret carrying his father’s legacy on.

Bret said “Being compared to my father — he was a strong guy in the community and he had strong ties with First Nations people across Western Canada.” Bret continued, “I’ve won world titles and had a lot of different things bestowed upon me; and I appreciate all of them. But this is one that goes right to the heart…being a Calgarian and being a Canadian, I appreciate this a lot,” Hart said.

Bret mentioned that his dad worked with and promoted wrestling events in First Nations communities in Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. Stu was born in Saskatoon, Sask and used his Prairie connections to get this valuable work done.

31 year old Mixed martial arts fighter Regan Running Rabbit spoke of growing up on the Siksika Nation that is east of Calgary and his favorite wrestlers were Stone Cold Steve Austin and Bret Hart. He said “I was a huge fan when it was WWF (the World Wrestling Federation, which has since changed to World Wrestling Entertainment, or WWE) … before I went into MMA, my original plan was to get into wrestling,” Rabbit said.

“I did backyard wrestling. There’s actually quite a few kids who did backyard wrestling back in the day, just on our trampolines,” he said. It was his segue to MMA, he said. Running Rabbit notes that Stu Hart’s Calgary based wrestling school, Stampede Wrestling, was a big draw, especially during the 1970’s and 1980’s.

Rabbit said that Stampede Wrestling brought the whole community together, the people from the reserve would come out to watch wrestling there. Rabbit emphasized that the Hart family members were always accessible and easy to meet with and talk with. Rabbit said that having Bret and Owen make it big was very inspiring and made a huge impact on his life.

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