Canadian Goalie Carey Price: First Nation Culture Keeps Him Grounded

AP Photo/Mark Humphrey/ Carey Price reaches for a rebound on a shot by Norway at the 2014 Winter Olympics on February 13, 2014, in Sochi.

Indian Country Today

Canadian Goalie Carey Price: First Nation Culture Keeps Him Grounded

Lynda Price, former chief of Ulkatcho First Nation in British Columbia, flew all the way to Sochi when she learned that her son, Carey Price was headed to the Olympics.

Carey, a goaltender for the Canada men’s hockey team, plays for the Montreal Canadiens and helped Canada win gold in 2010. He was in goal when Team Canada won their debut game, beating Norway 3-1. Linda visited him briefly after the game and said that her son’s priority was to bring home the gold medal for Canada.

“When Carey competes in sports events we always have to respect his time and concentration,” she told CBC in an email. “We have been fortunate to be able to meet him for short durations at the Canada House located in the Olympic Park.”

Carey and his sister, Kayla, grew up off the Indian reserve and earned their status in 2011, Linda said. “Their grandmother, Theresa Holte, and my siblings, Mike, Larry, Gary, David and I shared our culture, which was passed down from our mother and our ancestors,” Linda told CBC. “Our great grandfather was Chief Domas Squinas, who was Nuxalk from the Wolf Clan at Stuie and his wife Christine was Carrier from the north. My mom of course went to residential school. Although she speaks Carrier fluently, the younger generation don’t speak it fluently. I think sustenance hunting and gathering have been a vital part of all of our lives. Carey’s interest and our is to protect our language and we would like to see what we can do to help protect our language and culture for future generations.”

Carey was recently given No. 1 status against Finland and has started in the team’s wins over Norway and Austria. They beat Finland 2-1 in overtime on Saturday.

After their win on Saturday, Canadian coach Mike Babcock still had not decided whether he would let Cary or Roberto Luongo start in the quarterfinals.

This kind of anticipation would normally add to the nerves on gameday, but Carey has been able to keep his cool throughout the games. Price said that her son’s culture may have something to do with that.

“I think the sense of connection to our land and where we come from helps keeps us all grounded in who we are. We cannot become disconnected and caught up in a whirlwind of popularity and become disconnected from the ‘real world.’”