News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

May 4, 2023

Manitoba Government Welcomes National Aboriginal Hockey Championships

The Manitoba government welcomes the 20th anniversary edition of the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships (NAHC) to Winnipeg which is located within Treaty 1 Territory and the homeland of the Red River Métis, Sport, Culture and Heritage Minister Obby Khan announced today.

“This weeklong national championship is an amazing opportunity to showcase the talent of high-performance Indigenous hockey players and also foster cultural pride,” said Khan. “I am honoured to welcome all players, coaches and volunteers to our province, and I encourage all Manitobans to attend the games and cheer on these talented athletes.”

NAHC 2023 will include 16 teams—eight male teams and eight female teams—of First Nations, Métis and Inuit youth aged 13 to 17. Over 500 individuals, including players, coaches, trainers and officials, will participate in the tournament. Approximately 150 volunteers will be recruited and trained to support the event, including some through the Manitoba Métis Federation.

“I am excited to welcome all the teams from across Canada to participate and compete in what will be a celebration of Indigenous excellence in sport and diversity of Indigenous peoples in Canada,” said Indigenous Reconciliation and Northern Relations Minister Eileen Clarke. “I wish the best of luck to Team Manitoba.”

The Manitoba government is granting $50,000 to support NAHC 2023, which will be held at the Seven Oaks Arena in Winnipeg from May 7 to 13. The investment responds directly to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Call to Action 88, which calls upon governments to take action to ensure long-term Indigenous athlete development and growth.

The tournament is organized by a volunteer-led host committee in partnership with the Manitoba Aboriginal Sports and Recreation Council (MASRC), a non-profit provincial organization dedicated to promoting Indigenous sport and wellness.

“The MASRC is delighted to be a part of the 2023 National Aboriginal Hockey Championships,” said Mel Whitesell, executive director, Manitoba Aboriginal Sports and Recreation Council. “It is a privilege for Manitobans to see Canada’s elite 18U Indigenous hockey players. We have not hosted the championship in Manitoba since 2009. The event is free, so we encourage everyone to come and participate in this sporting and cultural event.”

In addition to tournament play, the event provides community outreach and cultural programming for visitors and spectators, the ministers noted.

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