Hockey Indigenous co-founder wins trailblazer award

By TRT Staff with notes from

ONTARIO — The Carnegie Initiative, in partnership with Canadian Tire Corporation, announced the launch of the Herbert Carnegie Trailblazer Award (HCTA) program last month.

“HCTA aims to honour the unsung heroes of the hockey world, recognizing those who use the sport as a vehicle to create positive social change, embodying the CI’s mission of ensuring that hockey is inclusive, supportive, and welcoming to all,” reads the Carnegie website.

The HCTAs will be presented to each trailblazer at the historic Hockey Hall of Fame during the 2nd annual CI Summit in Toronto, January 2023. Among this year’s recipients, the 7 individuals who exemplify Herb’s work through their innovation of thought, undaunted courage, and steadfast vision, ultimately working towards a better future include Stephane Friday, of the Kashechewan First Nation, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Hockey Indigenous.

Founded in December of 2020, the overall goal was to promote Hockey Indigenous in North America and provide a whole new generational direction towards youth empowerment. The organization strives to use its platform to motivate, boost self-esteem, and create a healthy and versatile lifestyle.

In addition, the organization also provides information related to Hockey Indigenous and their mission to stop the stigma of paternalism, discrimination, and racism. Hockey Indigenous started out as a social media blog, but in 2020, Friday incorporated it as a non-profit organization.

Growing up, Friday always played street hockey. He remembers watching a game on TV with his grandfather and brother. Friday has been actively involved in the community since his teenage years. He started as a youth president at the Timmins Native Friendship Centre as a teenager.

Friday also helped start the Choose Life program in Kashechewan. It’s a Nishnawbe Aski Nation initiative providing immediate funding relief for youth at risk of suicide by fast-tracking proposals for various child and youth mental health programs.

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