Elected Council Recognizes Achievements of Youth Athletes in NAIG

On Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 the Six Nations Elected Council recognized the athletic achievements of the Six Nations youth that participated in the North American Indigenous Games held in Regina, Saskatchewan from July 20-27th, 2014. Chief Ava Hill distributed certificates to the youth and adult chaperones present and thanked them for making our community proud.

Kathy Hill, who organized and assisted the Six Nations youth in the NAIG activities, advised Elected Council that while the athletes had been told by the Ontario Aboriginal Sport Circle that they would receive a flat $450 stipend to assist in their travel and registration costs, many of the youth had not received this financial assistance.

Chief Hill admitted that Elected Council was waiting for the athletes to make a request to Elected Council for financial assistance, but they were never approached. Chief Hill noted that it was too late now.

Each of the youth athletes and adult chaperones had gone through numerous avenues to fundraise and had counted on that stipend to assist in their travel costs. It would have been detrimental to have to withdraw registration as a result of lower than anticipated fundraising revenue, so many youth and their families had to go to extraordinary measures to accumulate sufficient funds, including incurring debt. Some participants incurred more costs than others. While the 37-hour bus ride was more cost effective, some teams had to fly.

One family present, Brandi Martin and her son Railey Martin-Smith, who played for the Under 16 Boys Team Ontario Soccer team, said that their experience in Regina had been very positive.

Team Ontario U16 Soccer received a bronze medal in NAIG. This was the first time Team Ontario had received a medal in soccer in NAIG. Martin was proud that the boys were able to get away from the reserve, interact with other First Nations people, bond, and see what a university environment was like.

She stated that the athletes stayed on the University of Saskatchewan campus in dorms and participated in cultural events in the evenings. During one of the nights, the hydro was out just before curfew, but a huge round dance was still held between the dorms. Team Ontario played cohesively and impressed the fans.

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