TORONTO — First, nine teams dropped out of the Little Native Hockey League (LMHL) tournament. Now, the tournament is fully cancelled after Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler called for it.
Fears of spreading COVID-19 have prompted the cancellation of the annual event that draws around 200 teams and 3,000 people from all across the province, including First Nation communities.
“I am so proud of our LNHL Organizing Committee. After the deflating blow resulting from yesterday’s announcement to cancel the tournament the committee held a meeting and without hesitation unanimously accepted an offer from the LNHL Executive to host the 2021 LNHL tournament! G’chi Miigwech to the LNHL Executive, to all participating First Nations who have been so supportive throughout this ordeal,” wrote Gimaa Zoongawbwi Chief Scott McLeod to Facebook.
The tournament was to be hosted by Nipissing First Nation, and held in Mississauga.
Organizers of the Little NHL say the health and safety of players and their families is paramount, and that fears of carrying the virus back to remote First Nations was far too risky.