MANITOBA — Brigette Lacquette, a member of Cote First Nation in Saskatchewan, became the first First Nations player to suit up for the Canadian national women’s hockey team.
Lacquette, who is now 30 and lives in Calgary, was a member of the Canadian squad that captured a silver medal at the PyeongChang Olympics staged in South Korea in 2018.
An opportunity came last year when asked to become an ambassador for a diversity, equity and inclusion hockey program operated by Kruger Products. She accepted.
The program has two components: the Kruger Big Assist initiative awarded six minor hockey associations across Canada $25,000 each earlier this year. Those half-dozen hockey groups were then invited to apply for the Kruger Second Assist program, which awarded an additional $50,000 grant to one of the associations. Lacquette is ambassador for this Second Assist component.
“I’m very proud to partner with Kruger Products on the Kruger Big Assist program.
The Kruger Big Assist is about making hockey more accessible to families through offsetting costs. Kruger is committed to supporting minor hockey in Canada and has donated $400,000 to-date to Canadian minor hockey associations to assist families with hockey registration fees.
And just announced is the all-new Second Assist, a $50,000 grant donated to one of this year’s 15 Big Assist-winning associations to support diversity, equity and inclusion in hockey.
The Cape Breton Blizzard Female Hockey Association was awarded the first-ever prize for propelling change in their community, including creating teams in First Nations communities, developing all-female referee crews and addressing the shortage of female and BIPOC coaches.
Growing up, my parents always made sure to get me to my practices & games. They were my role models showing me the importance of hard work and how to persevere through the difficult times. Hockey is a very expensive sport and I was fortunate enough to have my reserve Cote First Nation to help offset the cost of hockey fees and I give them credit for helping me to get to where I am today.
I’m happy to see companies doing their part to give kids more opportunity and I’m excited to do more to strengthen inclusion in the great game of hockey,” wrote Lacquette to Facebook.