SOUTH KOREA – Grown-up in the community of Cote First Nation in Mallard Manitoba, Team Canada defensemen, No.4, Brigette Lacquette, had a long and hard journey to reach the pinnacle of her game and become the first Native women’s player to play for Team Canada at the Olympics.
Brigette became an Olympic silver medal winner Wednesday after the championship game against the US in the 2018 Peyongchang Olympics in South Korea.
“It took a lot of hard work and determination,” Lacquette told Kendal Netmaker in a YouTube interview. “It also helped to be tough-skinned.”
She talks about her first tournament in the big city of Winnipeg and the immediate racism she faced.
“I got into a little scrum with a girl in the corner, and she ended up calling me a dirty Indian,” she recalls. “That took me aback and I didn’t know how to deal with it. It was my first experience of it. I almost cried and I talked to my dad about it and he told me, ‘just beat ‘em on the ice’ and that’s what I did and I stuck with my hockey.”
It was going to be the last time she has had to choose to let racist comments roll off her shoulder pads, and she tributes that to some of her mental toughness.
She also recognizes the sacrifice her parents have made, taxiing her and her sister from arena to arena, miles apart, sometimes three and four times a week. Father Terrence and mom, are with her in Korea to share the moment. Brigette lists her father, Terrence, as her favourite minor hockey coach.
Brigette’s resume contains a very long list of championship teams she has been a foundational member of.
In 2016 to 2017:
She Reached the Clarkson Cup final with Calgary; Ninth in Calgary scoring; Second in scoring among Calgary defencemen; Fifth in scoring among CWHL defencemen
In 2015 to 2016:
Selected 24th overall by Calgary in the 2015 CWHL Draft; Won the Clarkson Cup with Calgary; 13th in Calgary scoring; Second in scoring among Calgary defencemen; 10th in scoring among CWHL defencemen
2014 to 2015:
Fourth in University of Minnesota Duluth scoring; Second in scoring among Minnesota Duluth defencemen; Second in scoring among Minnesota Duluth seniors; Named to the WCHA Second All-Star Team
2012 to 2013: Named to the USCHO.com Third All-Star Team; Named to the WCHA Second All-Star Team
2011 to 2012: Named to the WCHA All-Rookie Team; Second in scoring among Minnesota Duluth defencemen
2010 to 2011: Won the Canada West championship with the University of Manitoba
2009 to 2010: Won a gold medal with Manitoba at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships in Ottawa, Ont.; Third in scoring among Pursuit of Excellence defencemen; Helped Pursuit of Excellence win the JWHL Challenge Cup; Was to captain Manitoba at the 2009 National Women’s Under-18 Championship in Surrey, B.C., but was injured and unable to play
OTHER: Won the 2009 Esso Cup, Canada’s National Female Midget Championship, with the Westman Wildcats, and was named Top Defenceman; Won a gold medal with Westman at Manitoba provincials (Midget AA) in 2009; Won a bronze medal with Manitoba at the 2008 National Women’s Under-18 Championship in Napanee, Ont., and was named Top Defenceman; Played for Manitoba at the 2008 National Aboriginal Hockey Championships, finishing fifth; Played for Manitoba at the 2007 National Aboriginal Hockey Championships, finishing fifth.