‘He didn’t forget about us’: Ulkatcho, the First Nation home of goalie Carey Price, all in for Habs as Stanley Cup final begins

Becca Cahoose is ready to watch the relative who built her a treehouse play for the Stanley Cup. She remembers the summer days when she and her relatives in Anahim Lake would see Carey Price every weekend, and the time he decided to do them a favour. “We all would met at our granny’s place and hang out,” Cahoose said. “That’s when Carey saw us all bored, and started on the treehouse.” Cahoose, 27, said she knew Price because they shared a grandmother. She started calling Price “uncle” when she was young, and never stopped looking up to him.Now she’s “beyond excited” to get together with some of those same friends at her granny’s house to watch Price — considered one of the best hockey goaltenders in the world — play for the Cup. Excitement about Price and the Canadiens’ victories has resonated throughout the small First Nation community where he is from. And the Stanley Cup run has injected what many in the community describe as a much-needed note of optimism and pride. Price has taken his community with him on his Stanley Cup journey. On the back of Price’s Montreal Canadiens helmet is a call-out to his home community, the logo for Ulkatcho First Nation on Anahim Lake. “I’m happy that he is wearing Ulkatcho loud and proud,” Cahoose said.Price grew up in Anahim Lake, a member of the Ulkatcho First Nation, and son of its current elected chief, Lynda Price. It’s a very small community, with the village of Anahim Lake home to only 1,500 people, and Ulkatcho Nation members numbering 900. About two hours inland from the northern community of Bella Coola, Anahim Lake is surrounded by wilderness and is a place where grizzlies often wander by. As a youth, Price practised skating on a local rink, but to play hockey at a higher level, he eventually boarded in Williams Lake, a town of 10,000 people about a five-hour drive away from Anahim Lake. The goalie, who is known for his stoicism on and off the ice, has not forgotten his home community, and has used his platform to draw attention to it.In an interview following the victory against the Las Vegas Golden Knights that sent the Canadiens to the Stanley Cup finals, Price said his mom had just been re-elected Chief of the Ulkatcho. And he said two words in the Dakelh language local to the First Nation. Fred Cahoose, Becca’s dad, offered the translation.“It means, ‘hello Ulkatcho,’ ” he said. “He didn’t forget about us.” Fred Cahoose said the whole community is fired up about Price taking the Habs to the finals. It’s personal to so many people, to see the logo of the Ulkatcho on hockey’s highest stage, and especially on a player so well respected on and off the ice. “He’s a role model for all the young people around here. He’s a really calm guy, he always has been like that,” the older Cahoose said. “And he’s really kind-hearted. He’s a role model in that, too.” He said that after every game of the finals, win or lose, the community is planning a vehicle parade around the reserve, with people honking their support for Price. It comes at a time when something uplifting is sorely needed, with two First Nations having announced the discovery of hundreds of graves on the sites of former residential schools in the last month. “That’s what everyone is saying here in Anahim Lake,” he said. “With all the residential school discoveries going on, it’s nice to have something positive for a change.”Graham West is one of the community members inviting some people over to watch the game. About an hour and a half before the first game of the series against the Tampa Bay Lightning, he said everyone was just counting down the minutes to the opening faceoff. A jersey from Price’s first season in the NHL hangs at the back of the wooden house. “He’s got all the awards before,” West said. “But this one means a lot — especially with the logo on the back of his helmet.” “Some people are saying it’s lucky for them.”Alex McKeen is a Vancouver-based reporter for the Star. Follow her on Twitter: @alex_mckeen

‘He didn’t forget about us’: Ulkatcho, the First Nation home of goalie Carey Price, all in for Habs as Stanley Cup final begins

Becca Cahoose is ready to watch the relative who built her a treehouse play for the Stanley Cup.

She remembers the summer days when she and her relatives in Anahim Lake would see Carey Price every weekend, and the time he decided to do them a favour.

“We all would met at our granny’s place and hang out,” Cahoose said. “That’s when Carey saw us all bored, and started on the treehouse.”

Cahoose, 27, said she knew Price because they shared a grandmother. She started calling Price “uncle” when she was young, and never stopped looking up to him.

Now she’s “beyond excited” to get together with some of those same friends at her granny’s house to watch Price — considered one of the best hockey goaltenders in the world — play for the Cup.

Excitement about Price and the Canadiens’ victories has resonated throughout the small First Nation community where he is from. And the Stanley Cup run has injected what many in the community describe as a much-needed note of optimism and pride.

Price has taken his community with him on his Stanley Cup journey. On the back of Price’s Montreal Canadiens helmet is a call-out to his home community, the logo for Ulkatcho First Nation on Anahim Lake.

“I’m happy that he is wearing Ulkatcho loud and proud,” Cahoose said.

Price grew up in Anahim Lake, a member of the Ulkatcho First Nation, and son of its current elected chief, Lynda Price. It’s a very small community, with the village of Anahim Lake home to only 1,500 people, and Ulkatcho Nation members numbering 900. About two hours inland from the northern community of Bella Coola, Anahim Lake is surrounded by wilderness and is a place where grizzlies often wander by.

As a youth, Price practised skating on a local rink, but to play hockey at a higher level, he eventually boarded in Williams Lake, a town of 10,000 people about a five-hour drive away from Anahim Lake.

The goalie, who is known for his stoicism on and off the ice, has not forgotten his home community, and has used his platform to draw attention to it.

In an interview following the victory against the Las Vegas Golden Knights that sent the Canadiens to the Stanley Cup finals, Price said his mom had just been re-elected Chief of the Ulkatcho. And he said two words in the Dakelh language local to the First Nation.

Fred Cahoose, Becca’s dad, offered the translation.

“It means, ‘hello Ulkatcho,’ ” he said. “He didn’t forget about us.”

Fred Cahoose said the whole community is fired up about Price taking the Habs to the finals. It’s personal to so many people, to see the logo of the Ulkatcho on hockey’s highest stage, and especially on a player so well respected on and off the ice.

“He’s a role model for all the young people around here. He’s a really calm guy, he always has been like that,” the older Cahoose said. “And he’s really kind-hearted. He’s a role model in that, too.”

He said that after every game of the finals, win or lose, the community is planning a vehicle parade around the reserve, with people honking their support for Price. It comes at a time when something uplifting is sorely needed, with two First Nations having announced the discovery of hundreds of graves on the sites of former residential schools in the last month.

“That’s what everyone is saying here in Anahim Lake,” he said. “With all the residential school discoveries going on, it’s nice to have something positive for a change.”

Graham West is one of the community members inviting some people over to watch the game. About an hour and a half before the first game of the series against the Tampa Bay Lightning, he said everyone was just counting down the minutes to the opening faceoff. A jersey from Price’s first season in the NHL hangs at the back of the wooden house.

“He’s got all the awards before,” West said. “But this one means a lot — especially with the logo on the back of his helmet.”

“Some people are saying it’s lucky for them.”

Alex McKeen is a Vancouver-based reporter for the Star. Follow her on Twitter: @alex_mckeen