100 Indigenous Youth Hockey Stars Convene in Gatineau for US Educational Opportunity

 OTTAWA, ON, April 12, 2024 /CNW/ – On April 12 to 14, 2024, 100 Indigenous student-athletes representing Cree, Innu, Atikamekw, Ojibway, Mississauga, Kanien’kehá:ka, Huron, and Inuit communities and the home Algonquin Nation will convene for the inaugural Indigenous Hockey Showcase at the Slush Puppie Centre in Gatineau, Quebec. Representatives from United States prep schools will be in attendance as the participants will have the opportunity to demonstrate their skills on and off the ice and to hear about opportunities for them to combine education and hockey. Registration for this showcase required recent report cards and attendance records for each of the participants.

Not only is this an excellent opportunity for Indigenous student-athletes, but this weekend is in honour of the late Charly Washipabano, from the Cree Nation of Chisasibi. Charly was the first James Bay Cree to play NCAA hockey, and often spoke of the need for such an event. The Eeyou Istchee Sports and Recreation Association is supporting this showcase to bring youth from different Nations together, to train and learn from each other.

Showcase In partnership with:

  • First Assist is an Indigenous-led charitable organization founded by John Chabot, a former NHL hockey player from the Algonquin community of Kitigan Zibi First Nation. First Assist’s mission is to help Indigenous students – especially those hardest to reach – find success in school by using sport as a motivational tool to promote attendance, increase classroom engagement and promote healthy habits for life.
  • Hockey Without Borders is a registered non-profit organization who connects coaches with communities around the world. HWB coaches experience intercultural learning which develops knowledge, communication techniques, and life skills that are integral to becoming a positive leader and finding their authentic coaching style. This healthy atmosphere promotes the overall health and growth of children and youth through sport.
  • Presentations from the HWB leadership modules program about positive ‘Mindset’ by Dr. Cassidy Preston. A medicine wheel coaching seminar presented by Dr. Mike Gauthier (Taykwa Tagamou First Nation). Chris Schwarz will share his 15 years experience of working in the NHL to discuss the link between nutrition and performance.
  • Physical testing will be led by Mike Diabo (Kitigan-Zibi First Nation) in collaboration with the Ice Hockey Research Group from McGill University and the Indigenous Hockey Research Network represented by Dr. Jordan Koch. McGill hosted in Tiohntià:ke/Montréal a three-day Summit on Indigenous hockey bringing together leading academics, sport organizations and coaches, from across the country to discuss issues facing the game.
  • Coaches representing renowned prep schools, colleges and university-level hockey programs include; St Andrews College, Salisbury School, Kimball Union Academy, Berkshire Academy, Connecticut College NCAA, Potsdam University NCAA.

“Hockey showcases like this one give Indigenous youth the opportunity to see the different avenues they can take to move forward in their lives. We are using hockey to open doors.”
     –   John Chabot, founder & CEO of First Assist

Centre Slush Puppie 

SOURCE First Assist

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