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National anthem sung in Salish at Gonzaga-Bryant game

Native American LaRae Wiley sings the National Anthem in Salish before the start of the Gonzaga-Bryant game, Nov. 18, 2016, in the McCarthey Athletic Center. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Native American LaRae Wiley sings the National Anthem in Salish before the start of the Gonzaga-Bryant game, Nov. 18, 2016, in the McCarthey Athletic Center. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

The National Anthem was performed in a unique form Friday night before Gonzaga took the court to defeat opposing Bryant 109-70.

LaRae Wiley, executive director at the Salish School of Spokane, sang the national anthem in the Salish language as a tribute to Native American Heritage Month, which was being honored Friday at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

Salish is a family of languages spoken by Native American tribes of the Pacific Northwest. The Salish School of Spokane works to preserve and revitalize the Southern Interior Salish languages, which are the first languages of the Spokane region.

For the second straight year, Gonzaga celebrated Native American Heritage Month by wearing turquoise uniforms. Turquoise represents friendship, harmony and fellowship in Native American cultures. In a partnership with Nike N7, Gonzaga and eight other schools across the country are wearing turquoise uniforms.

The players also wore special turquoise shoes to complement their uniforms. Each player had a choice of Nike-designed turquoise Kevin Durant, LeBron James or Kobe Bryant style of shoes.

Nike N7 derives its name from the Native American wisdom of the Seven Generations. This principle teaches people to consider the impact of our decisions on future generations.

Gonzaga is 2-0 in Nike N7’s turquoise uniforms.


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