2024 National Aboriginal Hockey Championships

The Cause

From May 5 – 11, 2024, 16 teams of more than 500 athletes and 100 coaches, plus officials, dignitaries, and spectators, will be travelling to Grande Prairie for the 2024 NAHC. An exciting blend of sport and culture, this event provides a forum for elite Bantam/Midget Aged Indigenous youth to not only compete for sport glory, but to also come together in ceremony and comraderies. Grande Prairie will be the first ever Alberta community to host the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships and we are thrilled to have this opportunity to share our great province with all participants and spectators.

The NAHC aims to address the underrepresentation of Indigenous players in mainstream hockey by providing a dedicated platform for them to showcase their talents and gain recognition. The event recognizes the need to promote inclusivity and provide opportunities for Indigenous players to compete at a national level, fostering their development and encouraging greater participation in the sport.

The City of Grande Prairie is thrilled to welcome participants and leaders from various communities on the traditional Treaty 8 territory for the first time. The event will provide various cultural initiatives and immersive experiences to share and celebrate the diverse culture and traditions of the Treaty 8 people. We are a culturally diverse city, rich with volunteers and enthusiasms for the traditions, culture, and athletics of the region. We embrace this opportunity to showcase northern sport and culture while promoting diversity as the hosts of the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships.

Recognizing the importance of cultural diversity and inclusivity, the event will feature various initiatives aimed at showcasing and celebrating indigenous cultures. These initiatives will go beyond the games themselves, providing opportunities for players and communities to engage in meaningful cultural experiences.

Who Will it Benefit?

Approximately 1,050 people will directly benefit from this event. The basis for this estimation is as follows: 400 spectators, 500 participants, 100 volunteers, 15 coaches, 15 Aboriginal Sport Circle Staff, 20 VIPS. The NAHC provides a platform for Indigenous youth to participate in a competitive sports event. By showcasing Indigenous talent and celebrating their contributions to hockey, it sends a powerful message of inclusion and diversity. This can challenge stereotypes and prejudices against Indigenous communities in the sport. The tournament can incorporate educational programs and awareness campaigns. These could include workshops, seminars, or panel discussions on topics like anti-racism, cultural sensitivity, and the history and challenges faced by Indigenous peoples. These efforts can help educate athletes, coaches, and fans about the issues of discrimination and racism. The NAHC can be an opportunity to celebrate Indigenous cultures through art, music, dance, and storytelling. This can help break down stereotypes and foster a deeper appreciation for Indigenous traditions, which in turn can contribute to reducing prejudice. Indigenous athletes who participate in the NAHC can serve as role models for younger generations. Their success can inspire others, showing that talent and dedication transcend ethnic or racial backgrounds, thereby challenging stereotypes and discrimination.