I founded Hockey Cares, a project of True North Aid, with the mission of connecting youth through a shared love of hockey. Starting in 2017, the Hockey Cares team and I have coordinated an exchange with Oakville and Attawapiskat bantam hockey teams. 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.
Recently Elite Level Hockey did a story on Hockey Cares. Here are some quotes from a recent article:
“I agree, I wasn’t sure about the program before I went,” Leah said. “As you go through the program — especially when they came here — I thought it was really, cool. It was one of the highlights of my summer. Then I returned the next year and I had looked forward to it like the whole year, because it was a great experience.”
“Until you go up and see a First Nations reserve, it doesn’t really click with you until you’ve experienced some of the conditions that they experienced, especially not having access to (clean drinking) water,” Jonathan said. “I really enjoyed making friendships and learning culture. But I think for me, what I took out of it was kind of the concept of privilege.”