Teagan Littlechief wows Grey Cup crowd with her version of O’ Canada
- Memory McLeod | December 08, 2022
An amazing voice and ability to wow a crowd is something Teagan Littlechief began in Pre-K when a teacher encouraged her mother to enroll her into voice lessons and she hasn’t looked back.
Since then, the mother and daughter have become team and together they have been building a dream, which propelled the Whitebear First Nation singer into the national spotlight.
Littlechief was asked to sing the national anthem in three languages at the 2022 Grey Cup Festival in Regina, which she did in not two but three languages.
Although she’s not a fluent speaker of either Cree or French, she embraced the challenge of doing something that hadn’t done before at the Grey Cup.
“It was a first for me, and I absolutely loved it,” said Littlechief. “Singing in Cree, I feel like it came naturally, and it just felt like me. It only took me about 2 weeks to get it memorized. The French took right until the day of the anthem. I had a friend help me with French. They said it sounded good to encourage me. So there I am, a ball of nerves, the day of practicing and this lady who is fluent came along and said ‘try it this way’ so that helped and I was more confident with it after that.”
Since her early days of singing at festivals and other gatherings, Littlechief and her mother have stayed the course towards building the dream − to sing in front of bigger crowds and at larger venues.
“We started out so small, but we believed that we could take it somewhere, not sure in the beginning where,” she said. “I’ve always had big dreams of being able to perform the national anthem at a large-scale event.”
Her dream became a reality on November 20 when she performed to more than 33,000 at the stadium with millions more tuning into.
Littlechief credits her parents for helping her reach this milestone in her career because they invested both time and energy in making sure she would be successful.
While sports was always big in her family, she says her parents pushed her to make the best out of her opportunities.
Littlechief describes her mother, Sara, her mentor. who wore many hats over the years as they traveled together to different communities and events.
“She has been my life coach, my best friend, my driver, my back person,” said Littlechief. “She made sure I took care of myself and helped me get clean and sober. She was my rock. She knew what to say or do if I was bullied for my singing. She made sure my friends stuck by me.”
Like many others, she faced setbacks due to the Covid 19 pandemic.
“Of course, during that time when everything shut down, the phone went quiet too,” said Littlechief. “Over the years I’d struggled in addiction and not good relationships and my singing went to the back burner. During covid I started my recovery process and took my music seriously. Doors just started opening up.”
After winning the Saskatchewan Aboriginal Artist of the year at the 2022 Saskatchewan Country Music awards, being asked to sing at the Grey Cup has only made her dreams get even bigger.
It has been a long road for Littlechief. She began singing the national anthem at Saskatchewan Roughrider games since her son, now 11 years old, was born.
Her son has grown up seeing and hearing his mother sing at football games and has gained a passion for the game and the team.