Some of the best Indigenous hockey teams from across Western Canada will be on full display at the Art Hauser Centre in Prince Albert this coming weekend as the Senators Cup begins this Friday.
Event coordinator Robynn Dorion says showcasing the Indigenous talent in hockey is important due to some players not being able to play at a higher level.
“I think it’s really important, the game itself is really important for the younger ones to keep the flow going in Indigenous hockey. I find that quite a few Indigenous people have missed the chance to play at a higher level due to the cost and how far the teams are from home for them, so it’s good to have the guys there that will still be in hockey.”
The tournament sees teams from across Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta make their way to Prince Albert to take part in the tournament.
Some players who have played in previous years at the Senators Cup include former NHLers and brothers D.J. and Dwight King.
Dorion says having that level of talent play in the tournament provides role models for youth in attendance.
“I think that it’s important to plant the seed to strive for a better lifestyle for them and to realize that sport is the doorway to a better life. It’s really important for both personal and professional life as you get older, to see that these guys that have played junior and or at a higher level for the youth to see them play and to see that you can still do it when you’re an uncle or a dad is important.”
Dorion adds that they are thankful for the opportunity to organize the event.
“I just want to thank my supervisor and grand chief Brian Hardlotte for trusting me and believing in me to run this tournament that is so important to the organization. I also hope that everyone attending has fun and keeps an eye out for each other.”
Admission for the tournament is free for children under five and elders 65 or over. A day pass will cost $10 per person.
The 2023 Senators Cup begins on Friday morning at 8 a.m. at the Art Hauser Centre.