The 41st annual Little Native Hockey League (LNHL) tournament will take over arenas across the city next week.
The theme of this year's tournament, “Aambe Taage Maamwi” (Let’s Play Together), builds on the community’s spirit of co-operation, a press release stated. As the host community, Sagamok Anishnawbek is proud to have the highest number of teams ever registered for the Little NHL.
From March 11-15, 125 teams from 100 communities from all across Ontario will take to the ice to play hockey.
In partnership with Sagamok, Right to Play — an organization geared at improving the lives of disadvantaged children through sport — will be provide leadership workshops throughout the duration of the tournament.
“The value of sport and play to our communities’ youth can’t be overstated,” Chief Paul Eshkakogan said. “Sport helps to keep minds and a body fit, and serves as a way of modeling to young people that hard work, training, and perseverance can help them meet all their goals and succeed in life.
“A strong, healthy sense of play fosters understanding and bonding within communities and with the outside world,” he added. “To play is to take joy in the company of fellow human beings, to learn co-operation, and to find pleasure in the simplest of tasks.
“It is my hope that this 41st Annual LNHL Tournament can do all of these things and more for all the wonderful young people participating and for everyone watching.”
According to Laura Owl, director of operations for Sagamok Anishnawbek, guests will be treated to a week filled with entertainment and special guests.
Canadian pop sensation Shawn Desman is scheduled to perform at the LNHL opening ceremonies, which will be held March 11, with a parade from Tom Davies Square to the Sudbury Arena beginning at 5 p.m.
Former Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Curtis “Cujo” Joseph, in co-operation with Right to Play will also be present on March 13. UFC fighter Anthony “Showtime” Pettis will host a presentation on overcoming adversity.
Wab Kinew (pron: WOB ka-NOO) is a one-of-a-kind musical talent, becoming one of the artists to watch for from the Western Provinces, the release stated. He is a hip-hop artist and CBC radio producer/host based in Winnipeg, Man. and host to the television series, 8th Fire Series
"I am so pleased that the executive committee decided to return to Greater Sudbury this year and I cannot tell you how proud we are of our city’s long association with this important event for First Nations across Ontario," Greater Sudbury Mayor Marianne Matichuk said.
"The Little NHL tournament is much more than a youth hockey tournament; it is a unique opportunity for First Nations youth to see and connect with old friends, play some great hockey and take advantage of all Greater Sudbury has to offer."
Admission to the opening ceremonies is free. For the remainder of the week, daily admission to games is $5 for adults and students, and free for those over 60 and under three.
Posted by Laurel Myers