Neepawa’s MJHL team was founded in 1989 as the Neepawa Natives. The creation of the original team name was rooted in the early 1960s, with the then-named Neepawa Intermediates hockey team.
The Neepawa Titans (formerly the Neepawa Natives) are a Canadian Junior “A” ice hockey team from Neepawa, Manitoba. They are members of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL), a part of the Canadian Junior Hockey League, and play home games at the Yellowhead Centre.
Neepawa’s MJHL team was founded in 1989 as the Neepawa Natives. The creation of the original team name was rooted in the early 1960s, with the then-named Neepawa Intermediates hockey team. In 1963, Ron Guinn and Cecil Pittman suggested the Neepawa Intermediates should create an actual team name for the Neepawa-based hockey club. A name that would connect to Neepawa (a Cree name meaning abundance or plenty) was explored. The name ‘Natives’ was selected because Neepawa and Natives both start with the letter ‘N’, and were seven letters long, which led Pittman and Guinn to believe it was a good fit for the team. They were also influenced by the many sports teams, throughout all of North America, that already had logos and team names that were Native American-themed. For example, the Cleveland Indians took their name in 1915. Scores of North American high schools and colleges also adopted Native American-themed team names and logos in the 1920s and 1930s.
The name would go on to be used by the intermediate team, who would play in the Inter Ridge Hockey League, the Central Plains Hockey League and the South West Hockey League in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1989, Neepawa was accepted into the MJHL and was in need of creating its own team name and identity. Wanting to respect the hockey history created by that Neepawa Intermediates team, it was decided to use the Natives name for the community’s new Junior ‘A’ Hockey club. The Natives name was gradually adopted by Neepawa Minor Hockey for its youth teams.
The Neepawa Natives had many successful seasons reaching the MJHL Finals in 1996 and the meeting in the division finals seven times.
Neepawa Titans (2021–present)
In July 2020, the team announced the intention to change its name and logo in response to growing pressure for sports teams to remove names and logos considered offensive to Indigenous peoples. The team’s new name (Neepawa Titans) and logo, inspired by the Vegas Golden Knights theme, were unveiled in June 2021. Among the other nicknames considered were the Bulls, Thunder, Salt Dogs and Generals.