In November, Community member and Artist Cole Redhorse Taylor had the opportunity to design a one-of-a-kind Dakota-inspired mask that was worn by Minnesota Wild goaltender Marc-André Fleury at the Wild Heritage Night game and was later auctioned off. The mask itself has raised $35,100 at auction. To thank Fleury for wearing the mask, the Prairie Island Indian Community also announced they will make a donation matching the amount raised from the mask to a charity of the Fleurys’ choice.
Fleury and the Wild worked with Redhorse Taylor to create the mask, which features images of water lilies and wild rice. Redhorse Taylor is a prominent Minnesota artist whose work has been displayed at the Minneapolis Institute of Art and elsewhere.
“For the mask, since flowers have a traditional significance in our aesthetics and material culture, I used a floral design,” said Redhorse Taylor. “Afterwards, I learned Marc-André’s nickname is ‘Flower,’ which I think made it the perfect symbol for him to wear. As a community, we are so thankful he wore the mask and that it brought so much attention to our Native people and the adversities we face in this country.”
In addition to the mask, specially designed Native American Heritage jerseys and a custom, hand-beaded Minnesota Wild necklace made by Cole were up for bid. In total, the auction raised $66,605 in support of the Minnesota Wild Foundation and the American Indian Family Center, a St. Paul nonprofit providing mental health, recovery, employment, housing, family and youth services to Minnesota’s Indigenous people.