Siksika Parks and Recreation Health Camp 

By Andrew Breaker 

On February 14th, Siksika Nation and The Calgary Canucks teamed up for our nation’s youth for the first annual Calgary Canucks Kakatosiiks Hockey Camp. This event took place at the Max Bell arena in Calgary, with a total of 34 youth from Siksika participating. 

This relationship was initiated by Chief Ouray Crowfoot and the Calgary Canucks Chair – Sandy Edmonstone. A combined effort in the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation. This was initiated with a ceremony prior to the Alberta Junior Hockey Showcase event in September. In honor of National Truth and Reconciliation day Siksika Chief and Council along with the Calgary Canucks honored our elders at the AJHL showcase at the Max Bell arena. 

Our elders and community members received custom black jerseys from this event. The occasion was noted around the AJHL league as a meaningful and well organized event that brought awareness to truth and reconciliation. 

Richard Running Rabbit was the lead coordinator (Recreation Team Lead) from Siksika to work with The Calgary Canucks organization, he was subsequently asked to be a member of the Calgary Canucks board (volunteer position), which he accepted. 

At the beginning of this relationship, it was agreed that this would not be a one and done situation. After the showcase, the Calgary Canucks planned to host a regular season AJHL hockey game in Siksika vs Brooks Bandits, at the Deerfoot Sportsplex in November. With all the proceeds (over $5000) of the game being donated to Siksika Minor Hockey. The crowd also enjoyed a fast brand of hockey on home ice. 

After the success of both events, both parties agreed to host a Calgary Canucks Kakatosiiks Hockey Camp. Over thirty kids attended this hockey camp and the energy on the ice was great. The kids received custom made Calgary Canuck red jerseys. The community should be proud of the effort of our youth during this event. The Kakatosiiks Association is a non-profit organization aimed at providing indigenous youth athletic opportunities with an emphasis on culture and education. 

“I know that the kids really benefited from that experience and that is just the beginning. We are now just laying down the groundwork for a lot of our Indigenous youth to get more opportunities and to be exposed to what it takes to reach that level of play.” Richard Running Rabbit on the hockey camp that took place. We can expect more of these opportunities moving forward.