MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Wild will be wearing a custom jersey to celebrate Native American Heritage Day this Friday.

The team partnered with the Prairie Island Indian Community to commemorate the day and raise money for charities, including those for diversity in hockey programming and children’s health.

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“Our tribe is proud to be active and engaged in Minnesota, and giving back is at the core of who we are as Dakota people,” Shelley Buck, the Prairie Island Indian Community Tribal Council president, said. “Our partnership with the Wild gives us a platform to share our story and celebrate our culture with the community, which we are honored to do on this national holiday.”

Wild players will wear the special jersey during pre-game warm up in their game against the Winnipeg Jets. The team says the jerseys “pay tribute to the Minnesota Native American community with a specially designed Dakota emblem and writing.”

The jersey will feature the word “Mni Sota Makoce,” the Dakota name for the region of Minnesota, meaning “the land where the waters reflect the skies.” There will also be two eagles, which are animals sacred to the Dakota people. Outside the logo, there are pieces of a star quilt, considered an esteemed gift by tribal nations, which symbolize resilience following the depletion of the Buffalo.

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(credit: Minnesota Wild)

The custom jerseys will be up for bid from Nov. 26 to Dec. 6 on the Minnesota Wild Foundation Handbid Auction.

Native American Heritage Day is a nationally-recognized holiday on Nov. 26, signed into law in 2008. The day celebrates the contributions Native Americans have made, as well as their vibrant cultures, traditions and heritages.

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