The 2019 National Aboriginal Hockey Championships (NAHC) Host Committee unveiled their logo today, as the countdown begins to next year’s event in Whitehorse.
More than 600 participants from across Canada are expected to take part in the 2019 NAHC, which will be held May 6th to 14th at both the Canada Games Centre and Takhini Arena. The NAHC features 20 teams made up of elite female and male Aboriginal athletes, ages 15 to 18.
“The Aboriginal Sport Circle looks forward to adding to the prestigious history of the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships (NAHC), when they co-host the 18th Annual NAHC in 2019 for the first time in the Yukon,” said Jeff Spencer, Chair of the NAHC Working Group, Aboriginal Sport Circle.
The 2019 NAHC logo was designed by local Indigenous artist Mark Rutledge, with the image representing both the Wolf and Crow Clans in the Yukon. The Host Committee will also be launching a website this fall.
Host Committee Chair Michelle Dawson-Beattie said excitement for the event is building in the community.
“In less than 300 days, we’ll be hosting some of the best Aboriginal athletes in the country here Whitehorse,” stated Dawson-Beattie. “What an incredible opportunity for Yukon hockey players to represent their hometown on a national level, and for our youth to witness first-hand where hard work and dedication can take you.”
Traditionally, Yukon athletes have participated as members of Team North – combined with the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
The Yukon Indian Hockey Association (YIHA) is hosting its 16th annual Learning to Lead camp this week, which aims to help increase Aboriginal youth involvement in hockey. Dawson-Beattie, who is also the President of YIHA, said some of the athletes at this week’s camp could very well be representing Team North next May.
“We have partnered with both Hockey Yukon and the Yukon Aboriginal Sport Circle, and together they will help identify athletes in Whitehorse and the communities who are eligible to try out for the team,” she said, adding they will collaborate with groups in the other two territories.
The Host Society will now begin looking for community partnerships in order to cover costs of hosting the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships, and will soon be launching a program to recruit event volunteers.