Sports Review: 2015
- Allan Beaver | January 24, 2016
First Nations, Métis, and Inuit athletes set a new benchmark on the National Sports Scene by setting a high standard of accolades, achievements, and success. The standard set in 2015 not only recognizes the athletes at the national level of mainstream sports but also at the International level.
First Nation, Métis, and Inuit athletes are a force to be reckoned with as many have the competitive spirit to be successful and at most times, be on the top of the podium as champions and winners.
Here is our highlight review of what transpired in 2015.
26 to 29 ALBERTA TREATY HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIPS ATTRACTS POSITIVE RESPONSE
The Alberta Treaty Hockey Championships has been held in Calgary since it’s inauguration ago but more than half of the games were held in Cochrane, Alberta, in 2015 and just might be the new home to the event which is just on the eastern outskirts of the beautiful rocky mountains.. Due to numerous challenges of the economy and high rates of ice time and more, the championships was basically forced to look elsewhere from the City of Calgary for the future.
“Some off-ice incidents in 2012 that did not involve tournament participants forced Calgary officials to question whether to continuing hosting the event in their city, said Alberta Treaty Hockey Association president Marty Wildman. “We decided to move it to Cochrane,” he said. “It worked out well.”
The championship tournament attracts more participation each year and no doubt promises to be bigger and better in 2016.
5 – ALBERTA NATIVE HOCKEY PROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIPS ALWAYS A HUGE SUCCESS
Since 1994, always bringing out the best of the best to Edmonton is the Alberta Native Hockey Provincial Championships held annually during the Easter weekend.
In 2015, a total of 222 teams from across Alberta converged on the city for the four-day, 560-game affair. First Nation, Inuit and Métis girls and boys from junior and senior novice up to midget and junior levels competed on teams that were either pre-existing or came together specifically for this competition.
With Alberta Native Hockey Alumni such as New Jersey Devils’ Jordin Tootoo, Dallas Stars Vernon Fiddler, Columbus Blue Jackets Rene Bourque, and retired Sheldon Souray, the majority of these young athletes dream to make it to the Big Show of the NHL.
But always a great showcase and a step in that direction of getting noticed is the Alberta Native Hockey Provincial Championships – mark it down on your calender as a must attend for 2016.
1 to 7 - SASKATCHEWAN BOYS AND GIRLS CLAIM GOLD AT THE NATIONAL ABORIGINAL HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIPS
Saskatchewan teams competing at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships (NAHC) came home with Gold around their necks. The 14th annual tournament for under-18 players took place in Halifax, N.S. in 2015 and it was a great showcase of talent.
Both teams also won gold in 2014. The aboriginal players come from all across the province and are between the ages of 13 and 17.
Summer Roberts, of Saskatchewan, won the tournament’s MVP for female goaltender and the captain of the boys team, Curtis Roach, was named MVP defenceman.
The first NAHC were held in 2002 and of course, hockey has a deep history within Aboriginal communities across Canada. With legends like Ted Nolan, Fred Sasakamoose, George Armstrong, Bryan Trottier and young stars like Carey Price, Jordin Tootoo, Dwight King, Jordan Nolan, Vernon Fiddler, Michael Ferland, and Cody McCormick blazing trails for Aboriginal hockey players across Canada, hockey continues to be one of the most popular sports for Aboriginal youth.
The Aboriginal Sport and Wellness Council of Ontario (ASWCO) is pleased to announce that the Aboriginal Sports Circle Hockey Committee has awarded the hosting rights for the 2016 National Aboriginal Hockey Championships (NAHC) to ASWCO.
It is anticipated that 8 teams, representing approximately 400 Indigenous youth will compete for the right to be crowned National Champion in both the boys and girls divisions.
The six-day tournament will be held from May 2-7, 2016, at the Iceland Sports Complex in Mississauga, ON and will feature coaching & skills camp, cultural activities and a gala for the athletes. The tournament itself takes place on the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of New Credit First Nation.
24 – CAREY PRICE CLEANS UP AT THE NHL AWARDS
Carey Price wins four awards at the National Hockey League Awards in Las Vegas. Along with the Vezina trophy for top goaltender (as voted by team general managers), Price won the Hart Memorial for league MVP (voted by professional hockey writers association), Ted Lindsay Award (voted by players for league MVP), and the William M. Jennings Trophy shared with Corey Crawford of the Chicago Black Hawks for allowing the fewest goals during the regular season.
26 & 27 - ETHAN BEAR GETS DRAFTED BY THE EDMONTON OILERS
Bear isn’t the biggest guy at five feet, 11 inches, but growing up with the Ochapowace First Nations in Whitewood, Saskatchewan, he’s developed a physical game that compliments a strong skating ability. All in all the Oilers have a mobile defenseman who has a very strong defensive game.
31-August 1- CANDIAN NATIVE FASTBALL CHAMPIONS CROWNED
The 2015 Canadian Native Fastball Championships held in Winnipeg, Manitoba, displayed great action for three days at the Buhler Recreation Park. The five Division championship tournament featured teams from across Canada vying for the prestigious title as the Canadian Champions.
The 21 and Under division saw the Cross Lake Jr, D’Backs & Lenny’s Selects both claimed as the champions while the Peguis Redmen came in third place.
The Senior Men’s title was won by the Westbank Cardinals while the Peguis Braves placed second and the Team Big Man claimed third.
In the Senior Women’s Division, the Red Nation claimed the championship while Diamond Jaxx was second and Laquette Construction Stars came in third place.
The Masters Men saw the Sapotaweyak win gold with silver going to Pimicikamak United and the bronze going to Ochapowace Snappers.
Big Scoop Supreme won the Masters Women’s Division over Diamond Divas while the White Bear Blazers snuck in for third place.
Ochapowace was the host First Nation for the 2015 Saskatchewan First Nation Summer Games that was held from August 9 to August 15. Over 3000 athletes from First Nations across Saskatchewan competed in 7 different sports. Ochapowace 2015 was much more than just an athletic event; it celebrated and shared Saskatchewan Indigenous cultures through a showcase of language, tradition, art, song, dance and ceremonies. The theme of the Ochapowace 2015 Saskatchewan First Nation Summer Games was “Raising the Bar” and that they did by exhibiting youth excellence in sports and culture.
Great job to Ochapowace First Nation in hosting the very successful summer games.
ANOTHER HUGE SUCCESS AT THE CANADIAN FINALS RODEO
Northlands was pleased to host the 42nd annual Canadian Finals Rodeo and Farmfair International from November 11-15 at Rexall Place and at the Edmonton EXPO Centre. Two of Edmonton’s largest annual events spurred western excitement throughout the Northlands grounds and the entire city of Edmonton, with a combined attendance of 183, 564.
“For 42 years, Edmontonians and our visitors have rallied behind Farmfair International and the Canadian Finals Rodeo,” said Tim Reid, President & CEO, Northlands. “The resounding success of this year’s Farmfair International is a testament to the strength of Alberta’s agriculture industry.”
From humble beginnings in 1974, the first edition of the Canadian Finals Rodeo drew 24,000 guests to the Edmonton Gardens. In its 42nd year, 89,177 guests came to Rexall Place to take in six action-packed performances over five days. As the largest indoor rodeo in Canada, 109 competitors chased the dream for championship buckles and their share of more than 1.5 million dollars in prize money. This year’s TD CFR Concert Series brought live performances by Chad Brownlee, Terri Clark, the Road Hammers and Dallas Smith to the Edmonton EXPO Centre to entertain concert goers after every nightly CFR performance.
FIRST WORLD INDIGENOUS GAMES HELD IN BRASIL
Another historic event for the Indigenous People of World was held in Brazil. All participants earned medals carved from wood, seeds and other natural items. There were more than 2,000 participants from Brasil and 23 countries, either participating in the athletic events or showcasing their dances by performing at the Cultural Village.
The purpose of the first-ever World Indigenous Games was to raise awareness about the many different Indigenous groups around the world. The Many Nations Dance Troupe, led by Eugene and Lorna Arcand from Saskatchewan joined other Team Canada participants to collectively show the world that we are here and that we are alive!
The next World Indigenous Games will be in Canada in 2017. Everyone is encouraged who wishes to participate to proudly display your culture as well as your athleticism.
- SK to play major role in World Indigenous Games
- Okanese athlete takes aim at World Indigenous Games
- World Indigenous Games changed lives
15 – CAREY PRICE WIN THE LOU MARSH AWARD AS THE CANADA’S ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
The awards just keep coming for Anahim Lake’s Pride and Joy, Carey Price. The Montreal Canadiens superstar goaltender is the 2015 winner of the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s athlete of the year.
Price, 28, becomes the ninth hockey player to receive the award and the first since Sidney Crosby won his second Marsh Trophy in 2009. The other NHL players to win: Mario Lemieux, Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, Bobby Clarke, Guy Lafleur and Rocket Richard. No goalie has ever been so honoured before.
Price beat out an impressive and long list of Canadian athletes including sprinter Andre De Grasse, golfer Brooke Henderson, baseball’s Joey Votto, soccer’s Kadeisha Buchanan and basketball player Kia Nurse.
27- CAREY PRICE NAMED CANADIAN PRESS MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
More awards for Price to cap off an impressive year of winning trophies and awards for humble First Nations goaltender. Price added one more achievement to his 2015 resume after dominating the voting for the Lionel Conacher Award as The Canadian Press male athlete of the year.
Price collected 53 per cent of the votes (30) cast by sports editors and broadcasters across the country.
“This one’s special,” said Price. “Being compared with athletes from other sports, it’s unique for me.”
“I’m very honoured. It’s something I’ll look back at the end of my athletic career and probably highlight one of these as one of the top, added Price.”