Indigenous Games set for Aug. 13-17

Richard Froese
South Peace News
Youth from Driftpile, Whitefish and High Prairie will compete in the Alberta Indigenous Games, Aug. 13-17 in Edmonton.
Driftpile will be represented with a team in fastball in the junior boys division for ages 13-17, says Lloyd Collins, recreation director for Driftpile First Nations.
Five local girls will play on a team in junior girls’ fastball, he notes.
Several boys from Driftpile will play basketball on a team called the Court Kings that includes players from High Prairie, says Jacob Hendy, chief executive officer of the Alberta Indigenous Games.
Held every two years, the fourth Games feature youth ages 12-20 in 12 different sporting events.
“We have over 750 athletes registered at this point,” says Hendy, who notes that 500 participated two years ago.
“The Games will bring together many youth from across Alberta to engage in one week of competitive sports, special events, and cultural connection,” Hendy says.
A trade show, role model mentors, Elders, Indigenous arts, music and dance will also be featured during the week.
“The mandate and theme of Alberta Indigenous Games is ‘Coaching Youth for Life, Career and Sport’ through sport development, educational empowerment, career opportunities and cultural connection,” says Games president Martha Campion of Driftpile.
The 2017 Alberta Indigenous Games are also a memorial for the late Allan Ross who was the founder of the Games.
Driftpile community leaders were also hoping to compete in lacrosse after the sport was introduced to youth at a clinic Feb. 4.
However, not enough players showed interest to make a team, Collins says.
“That’s one of our priorities, to get youth back into sports,” says Chief Dwayne Laboucan, who was elected the new chief Dec. 19 for a two-year term.
Whitefish First Nation is also expected to be represented with athletes, Hendy says.
However, no other information could be confirmed about which sports they would compete in.
Opening ceremonies are set for Aug. 13 at Rundle Park.
Special events are scheduled each evening, including an entertainment stage Aug. 14, a talent show Aug. 15, round dance and sponsor dinner Aug. 16 and closing ceremonies Aug. 17.

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