The experience and reality of Indigenous elite hockey players
We aim to get a better understanding of the experiences Indigenous elite hockey players have to go through to achieve and maintain their performance at the elite level.
THE TEAM AND THE INTERVIEWS
First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people have made an impact at all levels of elite hockey—from trailblazers Fred Sasakamoose, George Armstrong, and Jordin Tootoo in the NHL to Olympians Brigette Lacquette, Jocelyne LaRocque, and Theoren Fleury to numerous varsity players at the College and University levels to Rocket Richard-winner Jonathan Cheechoo, Hart and Vezina-winner Cary Price, and Jack Adams-winner Ted Nolan
However, the numbers of Indigenous players engaged in elite hockey remain far below demographic averages. Our research team is interviewing current and former elite players, officials, and coaches to better understand their experiences and to learn from their insights and visions for Indigenous hockey’s future. We are particularly alert to hurdles that disproportionately affect Indigenous athletes, with an eye to advocating for policy changes, and to insights toward encouraging elite player-development strategies and resilience training.
WHAT'S BEING SAID
"I think people put a certain stereotype on us because of the things they don't know or haven't learned yet. You definitely do use it for motivation."
October 3, 2018
"If you see a Native player in Rogers Place on the blueline, it changes everything. It starts dreams. That was always my dream — to show people where a Native hockey player could go and overcome these obstacles and stereotypes."
October 3, 2018
"We all know sports is correlated with education and success. That's exactly what we wanted to do-use sports as an instrument to encourage education."
April 28, 2019
“I gave up my childhood, for sure… Playing in the Western Hockey League, it’s almost like being a professional at 16 years old.”
September 30, 2019