I founded Hockey Cares (a project of True North Aid) in 2017, with the mission of connecting youth through a shared love of hockey. The Hockey Cares project promotes real reconciliation through a positive cultural exchange, and building lasting relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.
We coordinate an exchange with Oakville and Attawapiskat bantam hockey teams and allow each group to visit the other in their home town. Attawapiskat youth travel to Oakville in July, and the Oakville youth fly up to Attawapiskat in November to learn from their new friends, play hockey, and experience a new culture.
We had to pause Hockey Cares due to COVID-19, but on June 30, 2022 we were so thrilled to welcome Attawapiskat youth to kick off the Oakville portion of this year’s Hockey Cares exchange.
We invite you to visit the Hockey Cares Facebook page to see all the photos from the Oakville part of the exchange.
Bonding and Learning From Each Other – On and Off the Ice
We had a jam packed few days and it was so nice to see Oakville and Attawapiskat youth creating friendships and getting to know more about each other.
The Oakville exchange started off with hockey skills and drills. We were so thankful to have Olympic Champion Sami Jo Small come out on the ice to provide some instruction and training. Our Welcome Dinner was a fantastic evening and we were so happy to have Minister of Defence, Anita Anand, in attendance.
Two teams, named Fire and Ice, comprised of both Oakville and Attawapiskat players, were drafted and played two games against each other on Saturday, July 2nd. At the final game on Sunday, July 3rd, we had a very special referee - Ron MacLean from Hockey Night in Canada and Hometown Hockey!
In addition to hockey, our hockey players went bowling together, enjoyed a pontoon boat ride, went to the movies, had a potluck and enjoyed many meals together as well. They also visited North American Trade Schools in Brampton, education and post-secondary options are a key part of the Hockey Cares exchange.
We’re so thrilled that everyone had a great time and the Oakville visit was a big success. A final special thanks to Town Councillor Marc Grant for all his help and support.
Take a look at some of the media coverage about Hockey Cares 2022:
Hockey final winds up Oakville, First Nation youth exchange
Oakville charity jumpstarts program where Indigenous teens can hit the ice together
Thank You to the Hockey Cares Sponsors
- Precision Blades
- McDonald’s Oakville
- YMCA of Oakville
- Byonic Skate Blades
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