Pathway to Participation
Pathway to Participation For All (P2P4A) will expand on the learnings from a project from 2019 to 2022, Pathway to Participation for Lethbridge Indigenous Families. The goal of the P2P4A project is to develop a sustainable network among community and sport organizations that helps develop a welcoming pathway for sport participation regardless of race, ability, identity, or economic status.
Pathway to Participation Highlights 2019-2022
About Pathway to Participation
Lethbridge Sport Council's efforts to support and engage urban Indigenous youth and their families in sport and active recreation began in 2018 following conversations with Treena Tallow. Knowledge keepers of traditional games have referred to sports like lacrosse as powerful medicine with healing potential that can contribute to the various dimensions of holistic health for Indigenous youth (The Origin of Lacrosse, Lacrosse Canada, 2008).
Lethbridge Sport Council and our community partners value sport for its impacts physically, socially, emotionally, and mentally. No other domain of community life has demonstrated sport’s capacity to connect so many young people to positive adult role models and mentors, opportunities for positive development, and help to acquire critical life skills.
In the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Final Report (2015), sport and recreation are identified as tools for social development to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. Learn how the Government of Canada is responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's sport related Calls to Action 87 to 91.
Organizations and individuals alike should take a look at the City of Lethbridge's Reconciliation Ally Toolkit for ideas and best practices for being the best ally possible.
Goals of the project
- Facilitate workshops and help create and promote welcoming inclusive environments for Indigenous youth and their families’ active participation
- Engage urban Indigenous community champions to provide knowledge and oversee the project through a Lethbridge Indigenous Physical Activity Advisory Committee
- Deliver welcoming and culturally appropriate sport activities and events for urban Indigenous children, youth and their families
- Foster participation of Indigenous children and youth in active living, active recreation and sport
- Foster participation of Indigenous parents/caregivers with Indigenous and mainstream sport and recreation organizations
- Identify barriers to Indigenous populations’ participation in active living, active recreation and sport
- Enhance Indigenous cultural awareness among community active recreation and sport organizations
- Provide opportunities for interactions between Indigenous and non-indigenous children, youth and families
- Increase awareness of the pathways to participation in sport, active recreation, and active living
The Lethbridge Sport Council Advisory Committee "Pathways to Participation for Indigenous Families" mandate is to provide inclusive pathways to participation for active living, active recreation, and sport in Lethbridge.
The Advisory Committee believes in the value and benefit of physical activity, active recreation, and sport on our community.
- Treena Tallow
- Amanda Scout
- Charlton Weasel Head
- Bryan Smith
- Patrick Crosschild
- Kelly Thunder Chief
- Dexter Bruised Head
- Clayton Twigg
- Stefanie Peigan
- Mary Ellen Little Mustache
- Chad Chief Moon
Indigenous People in Sport Publication
First published in the monthly Recreation and Culture Guide for the City of Lethbridge, 'People in Sport' is a collection of stories of indigenous athletes and sport leaders.
The Creator's Game 2022 (2 days, 2 locations, first-ever lacrosse game on Kainai Reserve)
2022 The Creator's Game
On July 14-15th 2022, Lethbridge Sport Council and partner Alberta Sport Development Centre South West brought in Jeff Shattler, pro lacrosse player and league MVP once again to Sik-Ooh-Kotoki, or the land that is Lethbridge, to teach our urban Indigenous community about lacrosse. The camp was held at the Nicholas Sheran Ice Arena on day 1 and at the Kainai Sports Centre on day 2. This event had many partners including the Alberta Lacrosse Association, Lethbridge Lacrosse Association, Sha77ler Lacrosse Academy, Government of Alberta, Pathway to Participation for Indigenous Families Grant, Calgary Flames Sports Bank, Alberta Sport Development Centre South West, and the Lethbridge Sport Council.
Having one day of camp in Lethbridge and one day on reserve was a strategy to help introduce the game to the reserve by Coach Chad Chief Moon and was used as a means for reconciliation for both communities. Transportation was a shared effort by families and volunteers from both communities to and from both locations. An exhibition game was played during the commencement of “Indian Days” on the reserve to conclude the camp and showcase the sport. It was the first game of lacrosse played on the Kainai reserve. Some of the players were local athletes and enjoyed a hometown audience which made for an electric atmosphere.
The two teams, happily named Alberta FNMI (First Nations, Metis, Inuit) Selects & Standing Buffalo Fighting Sioux, exchanged gifts at the end of the game. The game was exciting with lots of great plays and hits to rev up the atmosphere. Coach Chad Chief Moon arranged for a local DJ to attend and play music during the event for the fans, and there was a proper ceremony arranged for the commencement of the game to have the players, the arena, and the crowd all blessed by a Blackfoot elder.
In 2022 we built on the momentum from the 2021 camp. We wanted even more kids there that already played lacrosse to attend, and we wanted to introduce even more kids to the game. Our goals were seen to fruition when over 60 athletes and coaches joined the camp with around half of them never having played the game before.
The schedule was very busy, full of fun and informative experiences, including a sports science seminar with Niko Saler from The Bridge - Sports Therapy & Training Lethbridge about how to improve the resilience of your knees in training both pre and post-injury.
9-11 AM - Practice 1 - Skills Clinic
12-2 PM - Practice 2 - Introduction to lacrosse + drills
2-3 PM - Classroom break and sports science seminar by The Bridge - Sports Therapy & Training Lethbridge
3-5 PM - Practice 3 - Advanced Skills and scrimmage (advanced, novice players welcome to watch and learn)
9-10:30 AM - Practice 1 - Players on floor for drills (all are welcome)
10:30 -11 AM - break
11 AM-12 PM - Final session of camp (all are welcome)
12-1 PM - Lunch Break. Prepare for game
1 PM - Warm-ups for Game
1:30 PM - Opening ceremony with player introductions
2 PM - Showcase game (select players from camp) *Half time Shoot out for select players/tug of war for all
4 PM - Closing ceremony
Participants who did not own lacrosse gear were able to submit their size into the registration form; gear was donated in their size from the Calgary Flames Sports Bank for use in the camp and potentially beyond. Gear was limited and available only while supplies lasted; luckily every participant who joined us left with some gear and a stick. Leftover gear was donated to the Ravens lacrosse program for further initiatives to produce more lacrosse players in the region. We can't thank our partners at the Calgary Flames Sports Bank enough for this donation.
The Creator’s Game 2021 (2 days, 3 great events)
On August 4th and 5th, 2021 Lethbridge Sport Council partnered with several organizations to deliver The Creator’s Game, a three-part event.
Come Play Lacrosse - 2 days and 4 sessions with Saskatchewan Rush pro lacrosse player Jeff Shattler for skills clinics and Alberta Sport Development Centre South West for a fitness clinic;
Aboriginal Coaching Module (ACM) hosted by Lethbridge Sport Council, facilitated by Indigenous Sport Council of Alberta facilitators for coaches, sport administrators, and volunteers who work with Indigenous youth;
The Cultural Significance of The Creator’s Game - An evening discussion with Jeff Shattler about the Indigenous perspective of lacrosse.
Come Play Lacrosse - The Creator’s Game
The Creator’s Game, a free event for Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth, was a huge success thanks to the cooperation of eight partner organizations and 50 participants ranging in age from 6 to 18.
Partners included Lethbridge Sport Council, Alberta Sport Development Centre South West, Alberta Lacrosse Association, Lethbridge Lacrosse Association, Pincher Creek Ravens and Coach Chad Chief Moon, Pro Lacrosse Player Jeff Shattler, Mary Ellen Little Mustache from Piikani Traditional Games, and Calgary KidSport - Calgary Flames Sports Bank.
Sponsored by: The Government of Alberta, Pathway to Participation for Indigenous Families Grant, Lethbridge Sport Council, and Alberta Sport Development Centre South West.
The lacrosse skills camp led by Saskatchewan Rush pro player Jeff Shattler and assisted by local coach Chad Chief Moon, included new and experienced lacrosse players. Lacrosse gear was donated by the Calgary Flames Sport Bank for first time players to use for the clinics and take home at no cost.
The day began with a drum ceremony, blessing, and smudge from local Indigneous elder Bertha Chief Moon. Participants enjoyed a visit with Mary Ellen Little Mustache from Piikani Traditional Games. They learned about and played traditional games that develop fundamental movement skills and physical literacy to help survive on the land since time immemorial. Mary Ellen provided the following games with instruction and time to play:
Ring on the Stick
Rock in the Fist
Blackfeet Hoop and Arrow
Mary Ellen gifted items, many of which were handpicked or hand crafted, to the over 100 youth and their parents/caregivers:
Sage and Sweet Pine Bags
Trail Mix with dried Saskatoons and Pine Nuts
Traditional game Rock in Hand made for each child who attended
Game instructional cards
Dry deer meat prepared the traditional way
Piikani t shirt for Jeff Shattler
Thank you bags for each of the Elders who were guests
Fitness testing and mental performance training
Facilitated by Josh Hoetmer, Alberta Sport Development Centre South West (ASDCSW), participants learned about mental performance, training fatigue, and how to seek help when in need. Available help for mental health and performance, as well as symptoms and realistic outcomes were discussed.
Physical fitness testing was done on all participants of the camp by professional trainers, facilitated by ASDCSW. Participants' families were emailed the fitness testing results and encouraged to participate in the ASDCSW Athlete Enhancement Program (AEP) to improve on those metrics from the camp. The AEP is offered at the University of Lethbridge Sport Performance Centre by ASDCSW. There is a cost associated with those services.
Participants learned about the Indigenous history of lacrosse during interactive res &/nutrition breaks between sessions with Mary Ellen.
Note: The Calgary KidSport - Calgary Flames Sports Bank (CFSB) came through big time for the youth that took part, providing enough equipment to cover the needs of all our first time trying lacrosse participants. Every child was able to participate; even if they had never played or held a lacrosse stick before.
We had some awesome prizes too! We had a game jersey donated by the Saskatchewan Rush and Jeff Shattler that was raffled off as a door prize.
CFSB delivered to Lethbridge:
12 Sets of Kidney Pads
21 Sets of Elbow pads
15 Sets of Gloves
15 Shoulder Pads
Aboriginal Coaching Modules
Lethbridge Sport Council hosted Aboriginal Coaching Modules (ACM) coinciding with the skills camp from 5:00 - 8:00 PM both evenings.
The ACM was for all sports coaches and people who work with Indigenous youth. We were very grateful to be able to offer this course FREE of charge to participants in partnership with the Indigenous Sport Council of Alberta.
The Aboriginal Coaching Modules are as follows:
1. Holistic Approach to Coaching
2. Dealing with Racism in Sport
3. Individual and Community Health and Wellness
The ACM was developed by Indigenous people as a supplement to the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) to:
Provide culturally relevant courses for Aboriginal coaches and athletes;
Increase the accessibility of the NCCP to Aboriginal coaches;
Increase the capacity of non-Aboriginal coaches leading Aboriginal peoples;
Improve the quality of the sport experience for Aboriginal athletes;
Improve the understanding of the application of Aboriginal cultures in sport and coaching;
Participants were required to attend both sessions to receive certification and NCCP PD points.
The Cultural Significance of The Creator’s Game
Lethbridge Sport Council and Alberta Sport Development Centre South West hosted The Cultural Significance of The Creator's Game, a game for healing, traditionally thought of as medicine by players both physically and mentally. Jeff Shattler facilitated theWednesday evening session from 8:00 - 9:00 PM. Jeff is a board of director for the Indigenous Lacrosse Association, an Anishinabe World Junior Team member, and the Standing Buffalo Lacrosse Coordinator. This event was open to the public and everyone registered for the skills camp and ACM was pre-registered for this event. Forty six athletes, 22 coaches, and 8 community members signed up for the event.
Following the event, fitness testing data collected during the ASDCSW session was forwarded to each participant along with a link to the online sport publication Sport Matters with includes local sport programming information including lacrosse. Information was also shared about how to register for the Alberta Sport Development Centre South West - Athlete Enhancement Program.
Testimonials from the post event survey:
“I wanted to thank Lethbridge Sport Council and the rest of the organizers for the wonderful job they did during the Lacrosse Day Camp, it was a success! My children had fun and participated in the practices even though this was the first exposure to lacrosse. We appreciated this event highly and hope to see more in the future.” - M.B.
“This was an awesome learning experience and my 2nd time getting to work with Mr. Shattler! I’m glad others got to learn more about my culture, every child matters! I really had a lot of fun & can’t wait for the next one. I love lacrosse!!” - BradyLovesLacrosse
“Hi I’m writing on behalf of my son Tayton. To hear my son say mom I really like having a guy that played lacrosse to teach us how to play a good game.” - Tayton’s Mom
“I had a blast learning how to play lacrosse and would really love to play more. The coaches were excellent and taught me a bit about the sport while keeping it fun.” - John Manson
“Really well done. Days were full with floor time then classroom time, but the concepts presented by the experts in both settings are really valuable.” - Jon D.
“My son loved learning a new sport, and couldn’t stop talking about his Lacrosse experience. Great event put on for the community!” - Mom of Lacrosse camp participant
National Indigenous History Month - Celebrating Champions in Sport
In recognition of National Indigenous History Month and in recognition of Action 87 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commision's Calls to Action, the Lethbridge Sport Council would like to celebrate local and provincial indigenous champions in sport.
Telling the Story of Indigenous Sport
The Truth and Reconciliation Report has five calls to action (87 to 91) related to sport. One of the five is to tell the story of Indigenous athletes in history in collaboration with the Indigenous community, sports halls of fame, and other relevant organizations.
Learn how the Government of Canada is responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action 87 to 91 by following this link.
Lethbridge Sport Council encourages local Indigenous and sport communities to submit nominations to halls of fames, sport, volunteer and community awards. Lethbridge sport council has successfully helped submit many award and halls of fame nomination packages. Reach out to [email protected] for guidance to develop a nomination for the Lethbridge Spots Hall of Fame, Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, LSC Achievement Awards or other sport-related award or recognition.
LETHBRIDGE SPORTS HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
Tom Three Persons (Athlete – Rodeo) 2010: Tom Three Persons was born at Stand Off on the Blood Reserve in 1886 and went on to become one of Alberta’s most famous cowboys.
Baptized as Moses Three Persons but known as Tom, his fame was sealed when he won the saddle bronc riding championship at the first-ever Calgary Stampede in 1912.
He went into the competition virtually unknown except to his family and friends, who knew him as a good bronc rider. But he etched himself into rodeo history by taming the legendary bronc Cyclone with a ride that thrilled the Stampede audience and earned him a standing ovation. His prizes included $1,000, a medal, a hand-made trophy saddle, a championship belt and a gold and silver mounted buckle.
Three Persons continued to compete in rodeos and won at most of them. His success and fame inspired generations of other Blood Tribe members and opened the doors for their participation in rodeo. He was also a skilled roper and taught many young men who came to his ranch on the Blood Reserve to learn to rope or ride bucking horses.
Three Persons went on to become a successful raiser of thoroughbred horses and purebred Herefords. He suffered a serious accident in 1946 from which he never fully recovered, leading to his death in 1949 at age 63.
He was inducted into the Canadian Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1983, the Cardston Hall of Fame in 1987, the Indian Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2002 and the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum Hall of Fame, Fort Worth, Texas in 2007.
Charleton Weasel Head (Athlete – Basketball) 2008: Charlton Weasel Head rose from stardom on high school basketball courts to starring on the national stage at the university level during an athletic career that has led him into coaching other young athletes.
An all-around athlete at Kainai High School on the Blood Reserve, Weasel Head shone on the gridiron for the Warriors football team. But he was even better with a basketball in his hands, leading the Warriors to success with his scoring, passing and defence. He also starred with the Alberta Juvenile squad in 1995.
In his Grade 12 year, Weasel Head sparked the Warriors to a bronze medal at the 3A boys’ Provincials in Red Deer, scoring 23 points in the third-place victory.
Then it was on to post-secondary ball at Lethbridge Community College, where he was an Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference All-star each of his three seasons with the Kodiaks, including a first-team all-star in his last two seasons. He was the team’s co-Most Valuable Player in his rookie season, 1996-97, and was named to the college All-Canadian squad in 1997-98 while again being honoured as the Kodiaks’ MVP.
Weasel Head wrapped up his Kodiak career with another MVP season in 1998-99, guiding the seventh-seeded team to a fourth-place finish at the Canadian College Championships. During this tournament, he was a 1st Team All-Star.
From there, Weasel Head moved on to the next level, joining the Brandon University Bobcats and was a starting guard on a team that finished as Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union silver medallists in 2000 and 2001. He was chosen as a second-team all-star in the Great Plains Athletic Conference in 2001 and was a first-team tournament all-star at the 2001 nationals.
The same year, Weasel Head was awarded the Tom Longboat Award for aboriginal sporting excellence and received the Doug Crandle Student-Athlete Award for 2000-01.
After earning his general studies degree at Brandon, Weasel Head returned to Southern Alberta to obtain his Education Degree from the University of Lethbridge. Now a teacher at Kainai High School, he continues to serve as a role model for aboriginal youth and coached the Kainai Lady Warriors into the provincial championships this season.
The Lethbridge Sport Council partners with local sport organizations to help connect Indigenous youth and families with local sport and active recreation programs.
Come-Try-It events are 1 1/2 to 2 hours long and are open to all skill levels while the age range is determined by each sport organization. While Lethbridge Sport Council takes care of the event promotion and registration, the local sport organizations provide the venue and trained coaches. It's an awesome partnership.
Past Come-Try-It participants who tried a new-to-them sport and loved it, received information about the local club, program schedule, registration details, and subsidy program information for registration and equipment.
Listed below are sport organizations that we have partnered with since 2019. We encourage families to contact the sport organizations directly to ask about their current programs.
Come Try Rugby at the Lethbridge Rugby Field
Come Try Boxing at the Lethbridge Boxing Club
Come Try Canoe/Kayak with High Level Canoe kayak
Come Try Air Rifle Shooting at the Lethbridge Fish and Game Shooting Facility with LA Hotshots
Come-Try-Basketball Kainai Basketball Association [email protected]
Come-Try-Lacrosse with Lethbridge Lacrosse Association
Come-Try-Archery with Lane Archery
Come-Try-Jiu Jitsu with Progressive Fighting Academy
Venues we have partnered with:
Sik-Ooh-Kotoki Friendship Centre
FUTURE COME-TRY-IT AND COACH TRAINING EVENTS
Lethbridge Sport Council would like to host several more training events in the future including but not limited to:
- Aboriginal Sport Module
- S4L indigenous LTPD
- Aboriginal Coaching Modules (ACM)
If you are a local sport organization interested in partnering with the Lethbridge Sport Council to host a Come-Try-It event or an Indigenous sport coach education/training workshop please reach out to [email protected]
#ChangingLives Through Sport Reconciliation Campaign
The 2020 #ChangingLives Through Sport campaign.
#ChangingLives Through Sport campaign was launched during Lethbridge Reconciliation Week in 2020. We put out a call for stories about everyday people doing great things using sport, physical activity, and active recreation.
We asked community members to tell us about indigenous sport volunteers, coaches, leaders, and mentors in their life using sports as the catalyst for change.
Two stories are highlighted below.
#ChangingLives Through Sport - COLTON WELLS
Local Indigenous Sport Leaders
In recognition of Indigenous History Month (June 2020), the Lethbridge Sport Council featured four local, Indigenous sport leaders. Read their stories in the Issuu magazine below.
Collaborations With Traditional Games and Roving Gyms
We first met Mary Ellen Little Mustache, Knowledge Keeper of traditional games, at the Lethbridge Public Library during the 2019 National Indigenous Peoples Day.
She prides herself in actively playing traditional games with Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members to teach the history, importance, and relevance of the games for children and adults.
She attended a Roving Gyms as our guest in 2020 where she played traditional games with the participant families.
Indigenous games take all people into account with great consideration to recognize other’s beliefs and practices. "There isn’t a right way or wrong way to play the games, just different ways that reflect different societies." (International Traditional Games https://www.traditionalnativeg...)
We are excited to announce that Roving Gyms now has traditionally made rhythm instruments. Three sets of beautiful drums and shakers for children and adults have been added to our equipment inventory made from traditional materials thanks to Mary Ellen. We are excited to have her visit our program to introduce some traditional songs using the instruments.
Mary Ellen was also commissioned to make the traditional game of Snow Snakes for our Multicultural Sport & Activity Kit. Our series of seven Activity Kits are for loan by community members and educators to sign out for one week blocks of time to play at home or at school.
If you'd like to connect with Mary Ellen you can find her on Facebook or contact her by phone (403) 992-9861 or email [email protected]
JOIN the 'Sik-Ooh-Kotoki - Sport Connection - Lethbridge' Facebook Group to stay connected with sport opportunities and news from in and around the land that is Lethbridge, called Sik-Ooh-Kotoki by the Blackfoot people. If you have a sport event, initiative or sport-related news that you’d like to let the community know about, this is a great place to get the word out.
For event collaborations like come-try-it events or to request training opportunities please contact [email protected] to discuss.