4 Nations Amazing Race combines competition, comraderie
- EFN Staff | August 29, 2017
In Treaty 4 territory, four First Nations are breaking down the walls between their four communities to form a relationship in a fun and interactive way. Cowessess, Ochapowace, Sakimay, and Kahkewistahaw First Nations came together to form the 4 Nations Amazing Race.
Jonathan Z. Lerat, who was one of the coordinators of the event, said the four chiefs of each reserve meet quarterly and one of the ideas was to start up the competition event.
“It was to bring the communities together from all four nations,” he said. “[It’s] also to collaborate more on programs and projects.”
There were about 50 competitors within eight teams that entered into the race. Competitors started off the 4 Nations Amazing Race biking through Sakimay reserve down to Grenfell Beach and then canoed to the Cowessess dam to the 605-grid bridge, where they ran to highway 247, handing the baton off to their teammate. From there, they biked to the Ochapowace ski slopes, where they had to run to the top and jump on horseback to the Ochapowace pow-wow arbor. The eight teams gathered to build a fire without any matches to fillet and a cook fish. Once they were done, racers ran into the announcer stand to hand in the cooked fish to be judged. The first three teams won the competition.
Lenasia Ned competed on Team Bear from Ochapowace First Nation, who took first place in the race. She said it was hard to start off with but all her teammates pulled together.
“The most challenging part is the mental ability to not tire out,” she said. “I canoed most of it…and I ran and I was tired out. My legs were jello but I still ran up the ski hill.”
Being the only female on her team, Ned said she felt great completing the competition with her teammates.
“I was really proud of [our team] and I didn’t feel like I was less than any of them. They all cheered me on and I cheered them on too,” she said.
Other team member Chance Bear said the race was intense, and even though they had difficulties at the start of the race, that did not stop them from pushing each other to keep going.
“We had to go find another bike. The first bike [had] a flat tire,” he said. “We were second guessing ourselves [at first] but once we started catching up and seen the other opponent ahead, you just felt that urge to keep on.”
This was the first year of the 4 Nations Amazing Race. Lerat and the four reserve chiefs hope the annual competition will continue to grow each year.