ATTAWAPISKAT — Hockey Cares is using hockey to bring Indigenous youth and Non-Indigenous youth together, as a project of True North Aid, participating youth of ages 12-15, are set learn about each other as individual people.
In July of this year, Attawapiskat youth travelled to Oakville for five days of learning, sharing and playing hockey as part of the program.
For the last instalment of the fourth rendition this month, 15 Oakville teens travelled over 1,000 kilometres north to learn about Indigenous customs and culture and play some hockey with the youth of Attawapiskat First Nation.
The trip marked the second part of the Oakville-based exchange program, which is hoped to bring together hockey-playing youth from the two communities in an effort to build friendships and a deeper understanding of their cultures.
“Participants will learn about Indigenous cultures, realities of life, and listen to one an-other’s personal stories. All participants will discover the possibilities and opportunities of post-secondary education, and learn about formal and informal support networks in Canadian cities,” reads the Hockey Cares Facebook page.
The teens tried their hand at preparing goose and fish at local hunting camps and learned about traditional medicines and crafts. Both groups of youth gathered together for a traditional drum circle and participated in a round dance led by Attawapiskat elders.
Planning is already underway for the fifth Hockey Cares exchange in 2023.