Throughout his life, former Dartmouth men’s hockey netminder Devin Buffalo has always had a passion for helping others.
Following what was a stellar three-year playing career in NCAA College Division 1 hockey for the Big Green, this Westaskiwin Alberta resident announced prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, that he plans on starting a company which includes motivational speakers and hockey camps.
Despite these plans being shelved due to the pandemic, it hasn’t stopped the driven former goalie from assisting at various hockey camps and giving valuable pointers along with serving as a mentor for indigenous youth.
“Indigenous role models have a role in using their platforms to help the younger generations,” Buffalo said. Buffalo, who graduated with a government degree also added,
“I have overcome many obstacles in my hockey career. The NCAA was the route I took, and I was very lucky to graduate from a prestigious school like Dartmouth College. My goal is to help educate and provide information on the NCAA route. Many indigenous people do not have enough information on going to school in the States. It is unfortunate that many students shy away from trying. Not only are some afraid to fail, but they are overwhelmed by the process. They do not know where to start, or they have no idea how to take the SATs. My goal is to assists them every step of the way because there is no doubt that Indigenous athletes have the talent, but should not be discouraged because they are unfamiliar with the application process. I aim to knock down these simple barriers, because being Indigenous already has its barriers to navigate. Dreams should not be crushed because of logistics.”
Buffalo, who was a rookie on the Dartmouth team in 2015/16, played until 2017/18 when he sparkled in posting a 15-11-1 record with a 2.86 G.A.A. and a 0.906 Save Percentage. His play captured the attention of NCAA coaches, as he got some nominations for the 2018 Hobey Baker Memorial Award.
“I was excited,” Buffalo said. Buffalo, who represents Samson Cree Nations also stated,
“I didn’t expect it. To see the list of names, it’s pretty amazing to be a part of it. If I won, it would be really amazing, especially being an Indigenous player coming from Alberta.”
In the end however Buffalo was not among the finalist.
Showing his Indigenous pride, Buffalo also played and starred in the World Indigenous Games, North America Indigenous Games and the Alberta Indigenous Games.
Buffalo started off 2020 by accepting in January a job with the Indigenous Sports Council of Alberta. During these uncertain times of COVID-19 Buffalo has shown great initiative by engineering what is called “At Home” Summer Fitness Challenge, which is a 10- week fitness schedule with the goal to keep moving during these uncertain times.
Meanwhile the Indigenous Sports Council of Alberta, or ISCA for short, also developed what is called a Summer Family Challenge for the purpose to once again be active and improve their health along with working cohesively as a family and strengthening the bonds.
“It is extremely exciting to be part of something of this scale, in helping Indigenous people get active,” Buffalo said. “We have a facebook group that I check, and it is special to read the testimonials.”
Buffalo also went on to add, “I will continue to encourage Indigenous athletes and students to dream big and not be afraid. Hopefully soon, we will have large numbers of Indigenous athletes leaving Alberta to attend Ivy League schools and play for teams in all sports across America.”