When she was five years old all Teagan Littlechief knew was she loved to sing.
Fortunately, there were people in her life that recognized her talent and encouraged her to pursue it relentlessly.
“My preschool teacher Joan McDonald was the one who asked my mom if she could put me into music lessons and I was in music lessons with a lady named Shirley Dahlgren for about 10 to 15 years,” Littlechief said.
She considers his influences to be Celine Dion and Whitney Houston and anyone who has heard her sing can see why.
Her powerhouse vocals can be heard across the province, the country and even into the United States.
Littlechief’s sizable talent has led her to sing the national anthem at a Calgary Flames game – a personal career highlight – Roughrider games and regularly at Regina Pats games at the Brandt Centre.
“It means so much knowing that people actually listen to the anthem before the games. It’s weird to say but I used to think I was just the anthem singer and it was like ‘okay, the anthem’s done let’s get on with the real show.’ But once I was seeing people – all the compliments on Facebook and Twitter it was just so awesome to see.”
It hasn’t always been easy for Littlechief, who hails from White Bear First Nation. She was bullied through elementary school in part because of her talent and her dreams.
“I had no idea why they were teasing me, maybe because I was singing on stage or something,” she said. “I had a dream and I was constantly going for it and I was teased for it but it was my mom who always stepped up and told me ‘don’t worry about it … you have a dream, you have a gift, don’t ever give up and don’t stop.”
In 2011, Littlechief’s greatest gift arrived – her son Gabriel. Now seven years old, Gabriel plays the same game that Littlechief can be found singing before.
She raised him as a single parent but struggled with alcohol and drug addiction after his birth.
“I missed out on a bit of his life,” she admitted before adding it was Gabriel who gave her the strength to overcome it.
“He was sick one day and I was out and it was that moment that I realized I chose my addiction and that’s when I realized I had to get my act together and wanted to be a better more for him and support him the best I could.”
Which is exactly what she’s doing now. An active parent, Littlechief is often at the rink watching her son play hockey. At the end of the month she’s bringing his novice team to the Pats game she’s singing at.
“He has brought so much love and joy, I mean, I never thought I could love someone so little, so much,” she said.
Littlechief is a regular over at the Brandt Centre, but this year people can expect to hear some more of her original music. She’s heading to the studio to record a new song she wrote herself. Littlechief has released songs previously, but those songs were either written by others or co-written with someone else. This one she’s done all on her own.
“It’s like seeing your baby being born,” she said of recording her own song for the first time. “It’s like seeing something start on a piece of paper and seeing it flourishing into music and then into a message – it’s great to see.”
And she hopes that all of the fans who support her at Pats and Rider games will continue to support her in this endeavour as well.