Birthplace of Hockey

Birthplace of Hockey

Did you know that a brief passage in Sir John Franklin’s journals represents the first recorded mention of ice hockey in North America?

In 1825, Franklin noted that as his men settled into their winter quarters on the shores of Great Bear Lake, they passed the time by skating and playing hockey. Local Dene oral history also speaks of people “flying around” and playing on the ice. Today, hockey is a popular sport in Délı̨nę and the local team “the Braves” are a force to be reckoned with!

This historic event, and the place of pride it occupies in Délı̨nę, have inspired a mural, comic book, and custom-designed tabletop hockey game in the Discovery Gallery.

Délı̨nę is officially recognized as a Territorial Historic Site because of its hockey history. For more information visit our Historic Places Program webpage.

Come out and play!



In 1825 Sir John Franklin’s Second Overland Expedition to the Arctic Ocean overwintered at Fort Franklin (Délı̨nę). Franklin wrote, “till the snow fell, the game of hockey played on the ice was the morning’s sport.” Locals at the time recalled players “flying across the ice, like they were floating.” Délı̨nę is recognized as a Territorial Historic Place, the site of the First Recorded Hockey Game in the NWT.

Birthplaces of Hockey


Comic book written and illustrated by:
Godi hé ɂerįhtł’échú dahtł’é:

Alison McCreesh

Thanks | Máhsi:

Délı̨nę Braves hockey team
Délı̨nę Got’ın̨ę Government
Albertine Ayha
Danny Gaudet
Orlena Modeste
Leonard Kenny
Morris Neyelle
Erin Selleck-Chocolate
Patrice Tremblay
Carla Rae Taylor

Produced by Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, 2018.