The Siksika First Nation and Calgary Hitmen hope to inspire other sports organizations and indigenous groups to work together with a letter of intent signed Thursday.
The partnership between the First Nation and the hockey club began with the game “Every Child Matters” in February 2020.
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The game between the Hitmen and the Red Deer Rebels should get the youth excited about the sport and better understand the steps to reconciliation.
Now the partners are strengthening this commitment with a MOU that pursues the following goals:
- Present the partnership as an example
- Promote the language, culture and history of Blackfoot in the hope of countering stereotypes and racism
- Promote healthy lifestyles through exercise
- Recruiting and retaining young hockey players through mentors, hitmen players and team alumni
- Establishing opportunities to get involved in other sports, leisure activities and physical education
“The aim of the partnership is to use this game to create a new normal for promoting cultural awareness at sporting events in the hope of expanding the power and reach that events like this can have on communities,” the groups said.
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Hitmen Vice President Mike Moore said the signing was a “wonderful opportunity to educate, teach, and guide our youth in all communities and to do things right.”
“It’s an honor to be a part of it,” he said. “As an organization, but also personally, to be part of something so monumental and to bring about change … to commit to bringing about change.”
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Siksika First Nation Chief Ouray Crowfoot hopes the growing partnership will open new opportunities for the children in his community.
“One of the things that this organization will help with is building these future role models for Siksika and having some positive role models … some more positive role models that our children can look up to.”
– with files from Matthew Conrod, Global News
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