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Charlottetown event offers ‘comfort zone’ for Indigenous P.E.I. girls to learn hockey

Indigenous ladies on Prince Edward Island are being inspired to become involved in sports activities they love, together with hockey.

An Indigenous Ladies Hockey Jamboree was held in Charlottetown Saturday, placed on by the Miꞌkmaq Confederacy of P.E.I.’s Aborginal Sports activities Circle, which brings collectively Indigenious youth from throughout nations by means of sport. Ladies from six to 14 participated.

“We simply wished to carry the ladies collectively to study some abilities from our hockey leaders,” mentioned Lynn Anne Hogan, the supervisor of the game circle.

The jamboree had a cultural part, too. After their drills, the ladies had a workshop in conventional porcupine quill artwork. In addition they had a session from a sports activities nutritionist to learn to gasoline their our bodies for sport.

Hogan mentioned younger Indigenous ladies aren’t concerned in sport sufficient.

Blond woman smiles to camera inside a rink.
Lynn Anne Hogan, the supervisor of the P.E.I. Aboriginal Sport Circle, at an Indigenous Ladies Hockey Jamboree in Charlottetown Saturday. (Tony Davis/CBC)

“We’re actually attempting to do what we are able to to work with our First Nation communities to extend alternatives for younger Indigenous ladies to be energetic, to be wholesome and to take part in sport,” she mentioned.

“Occasions like this may sort of remove a few of these obstacles relating to value and getting access to sport.”

Seven ladies from P.E.I.’s two First Nations — Lennox Island and Abegweit — participated in Saturday’s occasion, and one even got here from Nova Scotia, as a result of she is not in a position to attend the occasion in that province.

The ladies have been coached by feminine Indigenous gamers, together with Kiara LaBobe from Charlottetown, who has performed minor hockey since she was in Grade 6, beginning with a boys group. For 3 years on the midget AAA stage, she performed with Group Atlantic within the Nationwide Aboriginal Hockey Championships.

“After I bought concerned with [Team Atlantic] it was immediately a connection, as a result of they’re all the identical tradition as me,” she mentioned. “It was good to attach with people who I can relate to.

Youth in hockey helmet smiles to camera.
Kiara LaBobe is an Indigenous hockey participant from P.E.I. who was a coach for the occasion. (Tony Davis/CBC)

“I believe it is actually necessary for Indigenous ladies to remain in hockey as a result of you’ll find connections like that and type bonds and friendships … hockey is a tremendous sport the place you get to fulfill folks everywhere in the world.” 

LaBobe mentioned educating the younger ladies Saturday “feels superb.”

“I really like watching different youngsters develop,” she mentioned. “I am excited that I might help with that, even just a bit bit.” 

Erin Denny, a hockey participant from Eskasoni First Nation in Nova Scotia who performs hockey for Saint Mary’s College, additionally helped coach.

“I actually find it irresistible as a result of I did not have this once I was youthful,” mentioned Denny. “To offer an area the place they are often with folks like them and have that consolation zone.”

The ladies who participated within the jamboree are already registered for minor hockey. Hogan mentioned she hopes it conjures up them to remain within the sport.

“We hope that by different neighborhood members seeing these ladies on the ice, it should encourage and encourage different younger ladies … to become involved in sport, and that it is a protected place for them they usually can have a variety of enjoyable.”

Blond woman looks off-camera, rink as a background.
‘I’d inform them to not be afraid to step exterior their consolation zone,’ says Erin Denny, who performs hockey for Saint Mary’s College in RisePEI. (Tony Davis/CBC)

That is the primary even the sports activities circle has been in a position to have because the pandemic started.

The group obtained $8,500 from ParticipACTION’s Neighborhood Higher Problem,  a nationwide bodily exercise initiative that encourages Canadians to get energetic collectively. The cash is getting used to mount three such occasions for women within the Maritimes.

Hogan mentioned the circle is trying to construct its P.E.I. group for the North American Indigenous Video games, being held in RisePEI in 2023.

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