Enoch Cree Nation welcomes Ice Cube to their territory with starblanket

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Rapper and actor Ice Cube has collected a few gifts from Indigenous people in Canada in his travels and he got another one this week at a stop on his “Straight into Canada” tour.

Eleesha Papin from Enoch Cree Nation near Edmonton presented him with a starblanket on behalf of her community during his show at their River Cree Resort Casino.

“Our people are about love and about nurturing, and about acceptance and welcoming … we need to see that more,” said Papin.

The king size blanket detailed with the Raiders logo and west side hand sign was made by local artist Kayla Morgan and her mother Judy Cardinal. 

Papin remembers jamming out with her family to Ice Cube’s music and watching his movies at home.

Since then, her dad and brother died and she says Ice Cube’s music helped her along her healing journey. She’s marking four years of sobriety in May and said the rapper is a role model for her.

“Our people and his people went through the same thing and we are breaking cycles,” she said.

WATCH | Ice Cube talks to CBC Indigenous: 

Ice Cube talks about gifts from Indigenous fans

First a medallion, now a blanket. Rapper Ice Cube’s Indigenous fans show their appreciation as he returns north for the second round of his ‘Straight into Canada’ tour.

This week’s event at River Cree Resort Casino was part of Ice Cube’s second round of concerts in Canada this year. Several shows were at First Nations-owned venues. 

“The fact that the casino is owned by First Nations is great,” Ice Cube told CBC Indigenous.

“Some form, piece of the pie, is going where it needs to go.”

In February, Tahltan beader Carmen Dennis threw a medallion she made of the rapper onto the stage at a concert in Abbotsford, B.C., and this week, he was gifted the starblanket. 

“I’m always blown away that people would spend that much time and talent to do something specifically for me,” he said.

He said he thinks his music resonates with Indigenous people because it’s authentic.

“I speak truth to power. I lay it on the line,” he said.

“It’s not just all for my benefit. Hopefully it’s medicine for the hearts of a lot of people who feel the same way.”

Enoch Cree Nation, Eleesha Papin, presents star blanket to the star on stage at River Cree Resort, the venue of Ice Cube's April 30th performance.
Eleesha Papin presented the blanket on behalf of her community. (Submitted by Eleesha Papin)

Kyle Peacock, a councillor for Enoch Cree Nation, was among those on stage welcoming Ice Cube.

Peacock said Ice Cube’s music spoke to him when it first came out because it addressed discrimination and racism.

He said it helped raise awareness and was inspiration to stand up against it.

“And to think, from then to now, we’ve come so far,” said Peacock.


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