The National Aboriginal Hockey Championships (NAHC) wrapped up here in Membertou at the Membertou Sport and Wellness Centre last week. The 20-team, male and female tournament took place from May 6th-12th with Manitoba winning gold for the female division, and Team British Columbia placing first for the male division. NAHC was an action packed week and we are now sitting back and reminiscing about the highlights of the week:
Membertou’s Chief Terry Paul dropped the puck to officially open the 2018 National Aboriginal Hockey Championships.
Elder Lawrence Wells gifted us with an opening prayer.
Youth Chief, Montana Marshall, was present to welcome the teams and to ask us all to give a moment of silence in respect for the Humboldt Broncos, the Junior A team from Saskatchewan that was involved in a tragic bus accident in April.
Jada Paul, sang Canada’s National Anthem in Mi’kmaw.
The Opening Ceremonies also included a video that showcased the Mi’kmaw people’s history and connection to the sport of hockey. Hockey is in our blood, and the video demonstrated the importance of the sport to the people of Mi’kma’ki.
Hockey fans from across the country gathered to watch the teams battle for the title of Aboriginal Champion. NAHC showcased the abilities of the best bantam and midget-aged Indigenous players from across Canada and fans were impressed with the level of skill and heart of the players.
Team North took part in a Dream Catcher Workshop that was offered at the Membertou Heritage Park on Thursday. Membertou Elder, Catherine, lead the girls through an afternoon of crafting that took place inside the Elder’s Room. The players each created something beautiful and unique to take home with them.
NAHC would not have been such so memorable and smooth without the hard work and dedication of the volunteers. The volunteers welcomed visitors and spent countless hours at the Membertou Sport and Wellness Centre.
The official merchandise for the tournament sold like hot cakes. While the baseball hats and t-shirts were popular, the hoodies were the biggest seller. The event organizers had to place two additional orders for more hoodies. We had feedback that the players and parents were seen sporting the merchandise all over Cape Breton Island. It made us happy to know that Membertou was represented in style! If you happened to purchase a hoodie, we want you to wear it fondly as you remember your time spent in Membertou.
Let’s face it, not everyone is able to travel across the country to watch their friend or family member play hockey. The live streaming on the NAHC website was an opportunity for the folks at home to be able to tune into the action. Shout out to Darcy Campbell and his team at Nova Stream for doing such an awesome job covering each game.
Custom Commemorative Membertou Hockey Sticks
Boreas Hockey, a company located in Quebec, created custom hockey sticks for NAHC that could be ordered throughout the week. The sticks had the tournament logo and the double curve motif petroglyph, which is also on the Regalia of Chief Terry Paul.
The Social was held to celebrate the hard work of the players and to promote bonding and relationship building amongst the players. We hope everyone had a great time tearing up the dancefloor!
We hope everyone had as much fun as we did during #NAHC2018!