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Team Alberta Male Announced for 2024 National Aboriginal Hockey Championships

Press Release

RED DEER – Hockey Alberta, in partnership with the Indigenous Sport Council of Alberta, has selected 21 male athletes to Team Alberta competing at the 2024 National Aboriginal Hockey Championships (NAHC).

“We are very excited to be working with such a great group of athletes from across Alberta,” said Darren Reid, Head Coach of Team Alberta Male. “The team looks to have more offence and got bigger in size. The boys are stronger this year and we have a great core.”

Tryouts were held in Red Deer at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, Aug. 3-6. Males born in 2006-2009 of Indigenous heritage (First Nation, Métis or Inuit) were eligible to try out.

The 2024 championships are coming to Alberta for the first time ever. Grande Prairie is host to NAHC May 6-12, where Team Alberta Male looks to claim their first gold medal.

The Aboriginal Sport Circle established NAHC in 2002 to serve as the premiere competition for Under-18 aged Indigenous athletes. The annual event garners participation from First Nation, Métis and Inuit athletes across the 13 provinces and territories. The event helps foster cultural unity and pride to celebrate the athletic abilities of Indigenous players.

Since its inception, Alberta has medalled five times with three silvers (2015, 2013 and 2012) and two bronze (2014 and 2008).

The past two years have seen Hockey Alberta undertake several initiatives and engage numerous individuals to help us better understand the challenges faced by participants in our sport related to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

Hockey Alberta hosted an Indigenous Hockey Summit in August 2021, and then created and hosted the inaugural 11.4 Awareness Day in 2022 with a focus on maltreatment and Hockey Canada’s new rule 11.4.

A key part of the work undertaken by Hockey Alberta has been through the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee. This committee is comprised of diverse individuals with a wide range of life and athletic experiences. Members of the committee attended the Hockey Alberta Member Summit in June 2022, where they discussed the findings of the organization’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion survey.

The information gathered through these various forums has included examples of behaviors that have no place in hockey. We have heard real examples and collected data that shows that we have Equity, Diversity and Inclusion issues in hockey. It has reinforced that we have work to do to provide a safe environment and ensure that all participants have a positive experience in our sport.

The next stage in the process starts today with Hockey Alberta’s Statement on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion:

Hockey Alberta’s Statement on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Hockey Alberta acknowledges there are systemic challenges in our sport involving equity, diversity, and inclusion. All forms of discrimination and maltreatment are unacceptable and must be removed.

Hockey Alberta is committed to removing the challenges to ensure we are:

  • Creating a safe sport environment free of racism, discrimination, harassment and bullying for all participants.
  • Acting decisively to improve equity, diversity and inclusion so that our sport is accessible to all.
  • Nurturing a positive hockey culture where inclusiveness and belonging are expectations, not options.

This statement provides the framework for Hockey Alberta to address Equity, Diversity and Inclusion issues in our sport. Hockey Alberta will ensure sanctioned activities are accessible, inclusive and safe for participants of all abilities, backgrounds, and interests, and Hockey Alberta will eliminate maltreatment, bullying and harassment from the game.

Specifically, our commitments are shown in our actions. In 2023-24, Hockey Alberta will add new staff resources to our operational team to support our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committee, activate on our objectives, and support our Members, as Hockey Alberta works to nurture a positive hockey culture.

Actions for 2023-24 include:

  • Engaging in a pilot with minor hockey teams that educates and brings awareness about maltreatment.
  • Continuing the education process of Hockey Alberta’s Staff, Volunteers and Board of Directors.
  • Creating a new EDI Grant for Member initiatives for advancing the game through a focus on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion,
  • Identifying and implementing Safe Sport/ EDI standards, tools and resources for use by our Members,

To review the complete plan, click on the website link below:

As well, on August 16, Hockey Canada released its Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Path Forward document, and asked its branches across Canada to be involved and have stake in the Path Forward. Simply put, Hockey Alberta is in – with a commitment to working at the local, provincial and national levels to ensure a safe environment and a positive experience for all participants.

For more information, please contact Hockey Alberta:

Email: info@hockeyalberta.ca

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