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The city intends to submit a bid to host the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships.

In partnership with the Strathcona Regional District, the city is vying to bring the event to Campbell River in 2017.

Mayor Andy Adams, in his role as chair of the Strathcona Gardens Commission, wrote in a letter to the host selection committee that Strathcona Gardens has had extensive experience hosting hockey tournaments over the years, including the Men’s World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

“Members of the Strathcona Gardens Commission agree that the Strathcona Gardens Recreation Complex is an ideal facility for the 2017 National Aboriginal Hockey Championships, and the community is well-positioned to host Aboriginal hockey players from across the country to showcase their talents,” Adams wrote.

The event was founded by the Aboriginal Sport Circle and is sanctioned by Hockey Canada. It showcases elite Bantam and Midget aged aboriginal hockey players from across the nation, while fostering cultural unity and pride.

The Aboriginal Hockey Championships has been in existence since 2001 and is open to both male and female players.

City council, at its May 11 meeting, supported submitting a bid package to host the event.

Chief Robert Pollard of the Campbell River Indian Band said the band fully supports the city’s proposal.

“We believe that events such as this can motivate and energize host communities and serve as a source of pride for all residents, aboriginal and non-aboriginal,” Pollard wrote in a letter to city council.

“In addition, we see this tournament as an opportunity to showcase Campbell River as a dynamic, progressive and healthy and inclusive community.”

The National Aboriginal Hockey Championships were held this year in Halifax, Nova Scotia from April 27 to May 2.

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The annual powwow run by the Odawa Native Friendship Centre has always been a big celebration of aboriginal culture in Ottawa, but this year its organizers are trying to bring the gathering to an even broader audience.

Odawa's 39th Grassroots Competition Pow Wow runs from Saturday to Sunday at Wesley Clover Parks in Nepean, and it includes competition powwow dancing and singing on both days.

There's also an aboriginal arts and craft market featuring clothing, art, sculptures and trinkets, and aboriginal cuisine including tacos, dried fish, bannock, wild rice salads and more.

The grand entry for the powwow begins at noon on both days, featuring dancers in full regalia, elders and honoured guests carrying flags and staffs, dancing the pow wow into session.

But this year there will be a few more flags than usual, and from some unexpected places.

The powwow's organizers have invited delegates from various embassies, including representatives of the European Union, Jamaica and Venezuela. They've also invited a local Imam.

Shady Hafez, a member of the powwow organizing committee, told CBC Radio's All in a Day he's passionate about bringing aboriginal and non-aboriginal cultures together, in part because of his own background.

Hafez, 23, was raised in Ottawa by his Syrian grandparents, but spent weekends with his mother's family in Kitigan Zibi. He attended powwows from a young age and began dancing in his teens.

Some powwow etiquette:

  • If you want a picture, ask the person you're taking a picture of first.
  • Don't refer to the outfits as costumes, which implies dressing up as something you're not. Call them outfits, regalia or clothes.
  • During certain songs people have to stand up and there are moments where taking pictures is not allowed, but the MC will let everyone know.
  • During the competition spectators aren't allowed to participate in the dancing, but at other times it's OK.

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The overarching mission of the Aboriginal Sport, Recreation and Physical Activity Partners Council (Partners Council) is to improve the health outcomes of Aboriginal people across British Columbia by supporting and encouraging physically active communities. The programs delivered by the Partners Council are designed to build capacity and increase access to sport, recreation and physical activity in First Nations, Métis Chartered Communities, Friendship Centres and other partner groups throughout BC.

The Partners Council is currently seeking a full-time, Program Coordinator - Aboriginal Healthy Living Activities (AHLA). Working directly with the Manager of AHLA, the Coordinator will play a key role in the planning and promotion of core AHLA initiatives and events, administration of community grants, communications and administrative support for the healthy living program area.

Key Duties and Responsibilities:

- Assist with the planning and preparation of 6 Regional Leader Training Sessions and other provincial events that fall under the AHLA banner
- Support and assist in the development of communication and promotional material targeting specific Regions/Organizations, First Nations, Métis Chartered Communities and Friendship Centres and other stakeholders throughout the province
- Assist with annual report preparation and funding proposals (i.e. data collection and compilation, editing, formatting etc.)
- Distribution of community grants for healthy living projects
- Website maintenance
- Provide general administrative support to the Manager of AHLA

Competencies and Requirements:

- Post-secondary education preferred with experience working in Aboriginal health
- Experience in workshop and events coordination and administration
- Excellent written and verbal presentation/interpersonal skills,
- Attention to detail and superior organization skills; ability to manage complex workload with tight deadlines
- Advanced skills in Excel, PowerPoint and Word programs
- Applied knowledge of BC’s Aboriginal communities and their physical activity and health related needs
- Willingness to maintain a flexible work schedule and available to travel throughout the Province
- Complete criminal records check

Term: Full-time position beginning June, 2015

Salary: $42,000 - $46,000 annual salary, based on a 35-hour work week.

Location: Victoria, BC

To Apply: Please submit a cover letter, resume and three references no later than: 4:00 pm PST, Thursday, May 28, 2015. Email or fax to the attention of Robynne Edgar- Manager, Aboriginal Healthy Living Activities: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. toll free fax: 1-877-711-5594 or 250-388-5502

Late or incomplete resumes will not be considered. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Pursuant to section 41 of the BC Human Rights Code, preference will be given to qualified applicants of Aboriginal Ancestry who self-identify.

The 10 month challenge was initiated in June 2014 and gathered momentum through the fall. Of the 5,000 BC First Nations taking part over 1800 actively competed for prizes on fitbit.com.

On April 30, 2015 the totals rolled in and they are impressive! Group total for distance was 764,426 KM (equivalent to walking 19 times around the earth!), group total active minutes of 3,567,271 minutes (equivalent to 6 years, 9 months and 12 days!) and group total steps of 1,181,698,715. Grand prize winners received community wellness grants for their respective communities.

Kim Roberts – #1 Most Steps Winner

The awards ceremony was hosted by Dr. Evan Adams and Grand Chief Doug Kelly.

MOST STEPS:
1. Kim Roberts: Kwakiutl District Council Health Centre, Campbell River $4,000
STEPS: 8,085,978
2. Sheri Daw: Lower Nicola Indian Band, Merritt – (Sheri is also the Quarter 3 prize winner for most steps.) $3,000
STEPS: 6,616,937
3. Val Rubinato: Gitxsan Health Society, Hazelton – (Val is also the Quarter 3 prize winner for greatest distance.) $2,000
STEPS: 5,420,232

FARTHEST DISTANCE:
1. Gina Warburton: Ts’ewulhtun Health Centre, Duncan $4,000
DISTANCE: 3,283.52KM
2. John Powell: Mamalilikala-Qwe’Qwa’Sot’Em First Nation, Village Island $3,000
DISTANCE: 3,006 KM
3. Robert Clydesdale, Nooaitch Indian Band, Merritt $2,000
DISTANCE: 2,460.33 KM

MOST ACTIVE MINUTES:
1. Carole Basil: Lower Nicola Indian Band, Merritt $4,000
ACTIVE MINS: 45,029 MIN
2. Janette Dennis: Lower Similkameen Indian Band, Keremeos $3,000
ACTIVE MINS: 35,445 MIN
3. Ruby Alexis: Okanagan Indian Band, Vernon $2,000
ACTIVE MINS: 20,484 MIN

Doug Kelly, The Original Beefy Chief

Congratulations to all participants! Keep Stepping Up! The Step Up Challenge registration remains open but sign up soon as supplies are limited!

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As she welcomed players, coaches and team officials to the opening ceremonies of the inaugural Ontario Native Basketball Invitational Friday night at the Rama MASK, an emotional Dale Plett was close to tears.

“When I welcomed people … I got teary-eyed because this is my dream for our community and to see it happen here, I feel really grateful,” said Plett, who heads up the recreation department for Rama First Nation.

The idea for the tournament began to take root in Rama about five years ago as the community started to think about how best to support its youth through sport. For many years, the small reserve’s young hockey players have competed at the Little Native Hockey League Tournament; it was thought that popular event could serve as sort of a template for native participation in other sports.

That is, at least in part, the mandate of the Aboriginal Sport and Wellness Council of Ontario (ASWCO) which sanctioned this weekend’s hoops tournament that attracted 10 teams. “It’s a good start,” said ASWCO president Marc Laliberte, who hopes the event will swell to two eight-team divisions next year.

Plett also has high hopes for the event. “I hope that the kids can say eventually, when this becomes like the Little NHL, that they played in the first one in Rama,” said Plett with a smile. “This is the first and I am really proud for our community for making it happen.”

Rama’s chief and council deserves praise for embracing and supporting the initiative; the community’s volunteers also deserve credit for stepping up and helping out in the weeks and months leading up to this weekend’s event.

As part of Friday night’s opening ceremony, the Sport Pathway for Ontario Native Wellness was unveiled; the $1.2 million initiative will support the health and well-being of aboriginal youth across Ontario through a partnership between ASWCO and the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

“We need to invest in our aboriginal peoples to bring them to the best possible places they can be,” said Sophie Kiwala, Kingston area MPP and parliamentary assistant to the minister of tourism, culture and sport. “They need to be doing as well as they can culturally and socially. It’s the right thing to do.”

She is right. Just as Ray Kinsella carved out a baseball diamond in his Iowa cornfield in Field of Dreams – his mantra was, ‘Build it and they will come’ – if tournaments are staged and sports are organized, athletes will participate and will develop into more well-rounded people.

“I believe in sport and the importance of sport for indigenous aboriginal people,” Plett told The Packet & Times this weekend. “I walked a good path because I was involved in sports. You learn discipline, you learn teamwork, not to give up – all those important skills … I don’t know of anything else that really teaches you those things.”

Congratulations to all involved for this excellent first step. The future suddenly looks brighter for Ontario’s aboriginal youth and that is something to celebrate.

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The Board of Directors of the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association (SPRA) have approved a recommendation from the Saskatchewan in motion Strategic Development Council to establish a stand-alone organization responsible for the growth of physical activity initiatives in Saskatchewan, including Saskatchewan in motion.

We are pleased to announce that effective April 1, 2015, the operation of the in motion initiative has been transferred from SPRA to the newly incorporated organization, Active Saskatchewan. Active Saskatchewan will continue to focus on the sustainability, growth and stewardship of the in motion movement, however as a stand-alone organization, there is increased potential to expand its reach and operations.

Active Saskatchewan is currently governed by an interim Board of Directors composed of individuals that were members of the in motion Strategic Development Council. In accordance with provincial legislation, the Active Saskatchewan membership will elect a permanent Board of Directors at the organization’s first annual meeting, which will take place March 2016. Moving forward Active Saskatchewan will work to build its membership base and look for opportunities to expand the funding available to support the physical activity movement in this province.

SPRA will continue to play an active role in Active Saskatchewan to ensure recreation and physical activity are a part of the plan to make Saskatchewan communities safe and engaging places to live.

For additional information on Active Saskatchewan, please refer to the Question and Answer Sheet or contact Saskatchewan in motion at 306 780-9248, or 1-866-888-3648.

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Don Patterson plans this summer to cycle the 7,000 kilometres from Inuvik, N.W.T., to Ontario’s Point Pelee, Canada’s southernmost point.

“I’ll be getting out of bed at 4 a.m. each day, cycling 10 hours and making presentations in the evening,” says the 61-year old Edmonton-born and raised grandfather of four.

“I hope to cover 250 kilometres each day, though the first few days will be slower and challenging.”

That’s because he will cycle 700 kilometres over the lonely gravel road linking Inuvik with the Yukon’s Dawson City. “I’ll change tires in Dawson and then really get going,” he says.

He knows about getting going. In 2012, he rode from Vancouver to St. John’s, N.L., completing the solo ride in 28 days.

Why would the former Edmonton lawyer, now a Mississauga commercial estate real estate agent, punish himself by riding Canada north to south?

He loves cycling, of course, but he also seeks to increase awareness on the importance of physical activity for aboriginal youth.

Patterson wants to raise $150,000 in support of youth leadership and sports activities and develop sustainable community bike programs.

“More than 40 per cent of aboriginal children are overweight,” he says. “But studies show children involved in sport will go on to have lower rates of obesity and diabetes.

“They are also less likely to become involved with drugs and alcohol, two habits which can lead to crime and teenage suicides.”

Academic achievement is a huge challenge, with some 50 per cent not graduating from high school, Patterson says.

“The economic costs alone are in the billions of dollars. And aboriginal youth is the fastest growing segment of our society.”

Patterson is working with Motivate Canada’s GEN7 Aboriginal Role Model Program.

“GEN7 encourages aboriginal youth to live an active, healthy lifestyle through sport and physical activity,” says Patterson.

“The program helps youth build confidence and develop the leadership skills needed to make a difference in their community.”

Patterson believes every child should have the opportunity to participate in sports, irrespective of their physical abilities, financial resources or cultural background.

He will also help the YMCA, which he says plays an important role in building healthy communities by improving the lives of children, teens and young adults.

This was his message when he rode across Canada in 2012. After that ride, he was invited to the Alberta Indigenous Games. He has worked with aboriginal youth ever since.

“I’d always been aware of challenges within the community, but also the richness of aboriginal culture and the importance of traditional teachings,” he says.

“My father was a lawyer who worked within the aboriginal youth justice system here in Edmonton in the 1960s and ‘70s. We also had the opportunity to visit different communities and families. ”

Patterson will begin his ride in Inuvik on June 21, Aboriginal Day, and hopefully finish his journey July 19.

He will pass through Enoch First Nation and Edmonton on July 4 on his way that day to Maskwacis, formerly Hobbema.

Local cycling guru Alex Stieda has been helping him develop bike programs in these communities and plans to gather riders to join Patterson as he heads south.

“There are some great athletes in the aboriginal communities and lots of kids just love being active,” says Patterson. “To help them realize their potential, you can make a donation to the YMCA and Gen7 at spiritride.blog.com. Every cent goes to the cause.”

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If you work with youth, or supervise staff with adolescents, this new online course on intentional youth development (IYD) will be of interest to you. The two module course, each module being one and one half hours long, provides information to help you intentionally build a positive youth development (PYD) approach into your programs and services. Building PYD into your program structure ensures you have a consistent approach to meeting the needs of youth participants, regardless of who is leading the program. A certificate is provided upon completion of this course. Take this training at any time and any place.

For additional information and for the registration form, please click here

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