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Young athletes set to take part in indigenous games

Thursday June 26, 2014
The medals to be awarded to the winning athletes in the North American Indigenous Games were unveiled last month. More than 300 Aboriginal athletes aged 13-19 across Ontario hope to receive a medal when they travel to Regina next month to take part in the games.

This year’s North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) will take place in Regina this summer and will feature plenty of First Nations youth from Ontario, including Couchiching First Nation’s Tyson Morriseau.

Morrisseau, 16, is joining Ontario’s golf team. He said he has been playing golf for 13 years.
“I just like how it (golf) is a relief, it’s stress relief and it’s something I’m really good at,” Morriseau said. “It helps me get my mind off everything.”

Morriseau has trained at the Hank Haney International Golf Academy. Hank Haney has coached golfing pro Tiger Woods.

Morriseau said that while he worked with other coaches at the academy, Hank Haney instructed him too.

Morrisseau has played in many tournaments so far.

“I’ve played in south Florida, Georgia, South Carolina,” he said.

Morrisseau said that a friend of his father, Calvin Morrisseau, informed him about NAIG and signed him up.

“The Team Ontario coach contacted me and asked me if I would like to play,” Morrisseau said. He agreed to.

Morrisseau’s father said that he and his family are really proud of him.

“We are really proud of him because he has worked so hard for this,” Calvin Morrisseau said.

Morriseau said that it feels good to have a chance to represent Ontario and his community at this year’s NAIG.

“I am looking forward to playing on a team,” Morrisseau said. “I hear it is nice there.”
Nineteen-year-old Daniel Lewis of Wikwemikong First Nation is also looking forward to the games in Regina this July.

Lewis is a skilled archer, and will be on Team Ontario’s archery team.

He explained he has been involved in archery for the last seven years. He said that he found his father’s bow and eventually started shooting it.

“My dad wasn’t interested in it, but he had one,” Lewis said. “I just find it really interesting and I’m really good at it.”

Wikwemikong’s Sheila Madahbee, who is a championship-wining archer, has instructed Lewis.
Lewis said that he heard about the NAIG and decided that he would try out as this was his last year to be eligible.

“I went to the try-outs, I kind of already knew I was going to be accepted,” he said.

Lewis said that he is looking forward to seeing what the competition is like at the games.

Regina 2014 NAIG will host the athletes (age 13-19) and teams from 21 regions in North America’s Indigenous communities as they compete in 14 different sports. The participating teams include 13 Canadian provinces and territories, and eight regions from the U.S.

The sporting events are archery, athletics, badminton, baseball, basketball, canoeing, kayaking, lacrosse, golf, rifle shooting, soccer, softball, volleyball, and wrestling.

The theme at this year’s NAIG is “Raising the Bar” and will be accomplished by exhibiting youth excellence in sports and culture.

This year’s NAIG will feature live musical performances from Indigenous musicians like Inez Jasper, George Leach, Digging Roots, and A Tribe Called Red.

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