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Mushkegowuk Challenge Cup a success

Thursday March 6, 2014
Submitted by Terry Chakasim

A thirsty peewee player takes a drink during the Muskegowuk Challenge Cup, which took place from Feb. 21-24 in Timmins.
Submitted by Shirleen Wesley

Kashechewan 67’s second novice team were the B-side champs.
Submitted by Terry Chakasim

The Fast River Eagles defends against an opponent’s shot.
Submitted by Terry Chakasim

A Kashechewan peewee player battles for the puck amid defenders.

The Mushkegowuk Council says its 7th Annual Mushkegowuk Challenge Cup tournament was a success.

The tournament was held in Timmins from Feb.21- 24 and featured 44 teams in the divisions of tykes, novice, atoms, peewees, bantams, midgets, Jr. girls, Sr. girls and juniors.

Teams travelled to Timmins from many communities including Ontario’s Peawanuck, Attawapiskat, Kashechewan, Fort Albany, Moose Factory, Taykwa Tagamou, Moosonee, Chapleau Cree, Constance Lake, Fish River Band, Long Point First Nation, Wagoshig, and Fort Severn.

There were also teams from Quebec, including Chisasibi, Waskaganish and Winneway.
Games were held in four arenas within Timmins and South Porcupine.

“Planning an out-of-town event takes hours of commitment, dedication from the lead coordinator, Mushkegowuk Cup Committee, staff support and fundraisers,” said Deputy Grand Chief Leo Friday in a statement.

After all costs have been taken into account, the event expenses will hit the $90,000 mark, according the tribal council. Funds were derived from the support of sponsors, door admissions, fundraising and team registrations.

The tournament was founded nine years ago after leadership and the people within the Mushkegowuk envisioned the event that resulted in a support resolution for Mushkegowuk Council.

The objectives of the tournament include: promote the need to practice our cultural values and teachings; to provide greater opportunities for strengthening our spirit, mind and body; in spirit of goodwill and unity, to have fun; to strengthen existing bridges and to build new bridges between all communities and organizations; and to promote the need to live healthier lifestyles.

The event started as a hockey tournament for children and youth between the ages of five to 21 years old.

This year, the Mushkegowuk Cup Committee decided to try a new format. The top four teams per division advanced to A and B Championship Games.

“As the event continues to grow, we anticipate increased opportunity for Aboriginal communities to share and display their talents,” the council said. “We still anticipate growth in the coming years to fulfill the envisioned objectives of the people.”

Friday described the the Challenge Cup as “a fun filled tournament.”

“We thank all who have participated and who have made this event possible,” Friday said. “Mushkegowuk Council will continue to make improvements from learning curves.”
Next year’s event is tentatively set for Feb. 20-22, 2015.

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