Ancient Native American Hockey Games


The Lakota Sioux were known to have played shinny on ice with bone skates as early as the 1690’s and before european contact with the South Dakota Sioux in 1743.

Played on the Great Plains Dakota along village river ways.

Ice Hockey Roots Deep in American Indian Culture by James …

The name Hockey:

The first mention of the word Hockey refering to the game on ice

was actually an Iroqouis saying spelled ”Hoghee” which meant that ”it hurt”.

The Iroquois native american tribe was reported to play one of the earliest hockey games in 1740!
Played on bone skates on the St.Lawrence river in between Canada and the US.

An early form of hockey was first documented in 1740 when French explorers sailing up the St. Lawrence River observed Iroquois Indians hitting a hard ball with sticks and, as legend has it, punctuating their action with shouts of

“Hoghee” (it hurts!).(1)

French explorers in 1740 described a group of Iroquois playing a game with sticks and a ball on a frozen pond.(2)

Early Canadian records state that the Iroquois Indians chased deer across the

ice on bone skates.(3)

Early explorers of North America were amazed to see members of the Iroquois nation gliding across frozen lakes and rivers on blades fashioned of bone.This suggests that they had been skating for quite a while, as do the many ancient

bone-and-shoe combination that have been unearthed by archaeologists.(4)

In Canada early French explorers copied the Iroquois Indians in the use of bone skates for hunting deer during the winter.(5)


(1) Labor Relations in Professional Sports – Page 202

Robert C. Berry, ‎William B. Gould, ‎Paul D. Staudohar – 1986

(2) Reading Tutor, Grades 4 – 8: Sports – Page 17

Cindy Barden – 2009

(3) The Best of the Best in Figure Skating – Page 1983

Rachel Rutledge – 1998

(4) The fine art of ice skating: an illustrated history and … – Page 57

Julia Whedon – 1988

(5) Figure skating – Page 7

Elizabeth Van Steenwyk – 1976

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