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Sports Membertou to host National Aboriginal Hockey Championships for 2nd time

21:50  27 october  2021
21:50  27 october  2021 Source:   cbc.ca

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a sign on the side of a road: The Membertou Sport & Wellness Centre will be home to the 2022 National Aboriginal Hockey Championships. © Matthew Moore/CBC The Membertou Sport & Wellness Centre will be home to the 2022 National Aboriginal Hockey Championships.

For the second time in less than five years, Membertou First Nation in Cape Breton will be hosting the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships.

More than 500 Indigenous teenagers are scheduled to play in the elite competition taking place at the Membertou rink on May 7-14.

Tournament players are male and female, ranging in age from 13 to 17. They come from First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities across 13 provinces and territories.

"Membertou is thrilled to welcome back the National Aboriginal Hockey Championship in May 2022," Membertou Chief Terry Paul said in a press release.

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"Hockey is a sport that means so much to our community, and we look forward to welcoming Indigenous talent from across Canada to our ice."

This will be the second time that Membertou will play host to the event. Back in 2018, it became the first Mi'kmaw community to have hosted the championship when more than 600 athletes descended upon the First Nation community, located near Sydney, N.S.

Membertou Chief Terry Paul, left, is shown with 2018 National Aboriginal Hockey Championships organizer Gerard McPhee. © Joan Weeks/ CBC Membertou Chief Terry Paul, left, is shown with 2018 National Aboriginal Hockey Championships organizer Gerard McPhee.

Jeff Spencer of the Aboriginal Sport Circle hockey committee said the upcoming event will hopefully mark the first time in three years the games are not postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"When the pandemic hit we went through two tough years without the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships," Spencer said.

"I want to thank Chief Terry Paul and the Membertou First Nation for ensuring the championships are not missed for a third straight year and for welcoming us to their traditional territory."

The Aboriginal Sport Circle first established the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships in 2002.

The annual event is meant to foster cultural unity and pride and to celebrate the athletic abilities of Indigenous athletes from across the country.

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