Ice Chips and Canoe Quips: December 21, 2022

Hockey Canada Director!

Hockey Canada has been trying to correct the mistakes of the past and change the culture of hockey for the future. As mentioned last week, Marian Jacko, from Wiikwemkoong, was nominated for the position of director. Fast forward to this week and she was officially named to the important position! She joins seven other directors including gold medalist and Hockey Night in Canada’s Cassie Campbell–Pascall and the chair, the Honorable Hugh Fraser.

As stated on Hockey Canada’s biography of Marian, her accolades are lengthy. She is currently, “the Assistant Deputy Attorney General for the Indigenous Justice Division of the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General. Prior to this role, she was appointed by order-in-council as the Children’s Lawyer for Ontario. Marian has made significant contributions to the legal profession including being the first Indigenous person appointed as the Children’s Lawyer for Ontario, where she spent nearly 20 years representing and advocating for the personal and property rights of children and youth.”

Many will know Marian to be the president of the Little NHL but surprisingly she also sits on many other boards and she still has continued her coaching from back in the Little NHL and National Aboriginal Championship days. Presently, she is still being behind the bench as the head coach of the North York U18A squad! Congratulations Marian, very well deserved!

World Junior ‘A’ Silver medalist!

Samuel Assinewai from Aundeck Omni Kaning and his Canada East team had a terrific run at the World Junior ‘A’ Championships last week. The team fought hard in a very competitive tournament and earned a spot in the gold medal game against the USA side! Sam’s Canada East squad played very well but were downed 5 – 2 by the U.S.
Flashback some seven years ago, you probably remember Little Current’s Michael Laidley played in this tournament and was the captain of Canada East back in 2015?!

Hockey player shoots inspirational video!

Taylor Peltier, originally from Wiikwemkoong now living in Toronto, recently shot a video for the Maple Leafs to promote their Indigenous Celebration Game coming up in the New Year on January 6. The video will be shared on their social media and show on the jumbotron during the intermission. To thank her, the Leafs’ gifted her with an authentic and personalized jersey.

Christmas wishes!

Since I won’t be back until Santa has made his deliveries, here is hoping for a happy and safe holiday for all. For many that are feeling blue this time of the year, hang in there. Maybe try to get outside and be more active?
To all of the arenas on Manitoulin, may your “chillers” receive a trouble-free season so that skaters, curlers and hockey players alike can have a healthy and uninterrupted 2023.

Best wishes to all of our on and off-ice officials, especially those under 18, wearing the green armbands that will bring awareness that the harassment and abuse of officials will not be tolerated.

To those super active people who are nursing an injury, but itching to get back in your game, be patient. You don’t want to undo all of your healing. Get well soon, Kohyn Eshkawkogan!

Island opportunities!

My nephew Jesse lives smack dab in the middle of Toronto’s downtown. He is graduating from a high school this spring that is bursting at the seams. Their enrollment is approaching 2,000 and every single square centimetre is not wasted. Teachers share custodial rooms as offices. The cafeteria is so full at lunch kids eat in the library, halls, outside and even washrooms, apparently! Their gym has been divided into three sections, and still the stairwells need to be utilized to insure everyone get their exercise!

Jesse has recently become interested in archery and has had to go above and beyond just to be able to enjoy his new sport. Due to the overcrowded nature of the school’s gymnasium he has to navigate the TTC’s schedule to attend 7:30 am practices!
In a recent visit to Manitoulin, he and his brother Jacob were more than pleased to brave a cold and blustery day to have the ability to go into Grandpa and Grandma’s front yard and just shoot! Seeing them having such a good time, I was reminded once again of what we have here to offer!

Jacob will be graduating from Grade 8 in a school of 1,400-plus students. He is an active and sporty kid who once organized an intramural soccer league yet had little chance to participate in intermural sports through his school. Similar students at schools on Manitoulin could be on all the school teams if they want to and just try!

Often, there is the ‘glass-half-empties’ talk about what we don’t have without acknowledging what we do have! If we want our children to continue to have these opportunities, we all need to chip in. Whether it is volunteering to help, convincing our councils not to make cuts to kids’ activities and supporting team fundraisers.

Baa maa pii, Alex

A consummate sportsman, Alex Fox of Wiikwemkoong recently passed away. Alex was skilled in all sports that he tried and was known especially for hockey (Wiky T-Birds in their glory days!) and baseball. A graduate of Scollard Hall in North Bay, Alex was involved in secondary school varsity sports. A former teacher, Alex instilled his love of sports and his sense of humour to kids, in his soft spoken way. You will be missed, Alex.

A good sport is good for sports.