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MX News Update 2024

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Grande Prairie becomes the first community in Alberta to host national Aboriginal Hockey Championships

The city of Grande Prairie was part of history as the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships (NAHC) call the community home this coming week.

NAHC is a week-long event that presents two outstanding hockey tournaments where the public can attend all games for free, while promoting cultural unity and pride.

Established by the Aboriginal Sport Circle in 2003, the NAHC brings together some of the best Indigenous athletes from across the country. The tournament has also developed NHL talent such as Jordin Tootoo, Michel Ferland and Brady Keeper; current NHL players Ethan Bear (Washington Capitals), Brandon Montour (Florida Panthers) and Zach Whitecloud (Vegas Golden Knights); and National Senior Women’s Team members Jocelyne Larocque, Brigette Lacquette and Jennifer Rattray. Ted Nolan, former NHL Coach of the Year, was behind the bench for the female Team Ontario for NAHC in 2016.

Krista Hodder is the senior programs and events coordinator at the Aboriginal Sport Circle and says this tournament gives children from all different backgrounds and cultures the opportunity to come together and learn about themselves and others.

The tournament attracts participation from First Nations, Inuit and Metis from thirteen provinces and territories, and in some cases they travel across the country to participate in the week-long event. Hodder said the sacrifices these children make should not go unnoticed.

The tournament concludes with their gold medal match on May 11. Details about the week and schedule can be found on their website.