As a single mom of three, I want my kids to experience life differently
than I did growing up in Saskatchewan.
As an Indigenous woman, I grew up experiencing hardships and trauma, but I
have worked hard to break the cycle of residential schools in my children’s
My oldest, Brennan, is 14, and he works hard in athletics. Hockey is a huge
part of his life.
I became a single mom at 18, in my first year of university. Finishing my
degree was important to me, because I wanted to provide and set an example
He did CanSkate in Saskatoon, Sask., while I was finishing up my degree. He
always wanted to skate with a stick on the ice. He would have a hockey
stick and ball with him that he would play with all the time. When it came
time to register him for hockey, it was a no-brainer.
When he was four years old he played his first game in Kamsack, Sask., and
he quickly fell in love. He is in his second year of U15 with the Saskatoon
Minor Hockey Association, and he also plays with the Saskatoon Native
Brennan plays on any First Nations hockey team he can get on just to keep
playing, including at the Tony Cote Winter Games (every other year) and
with the Keeseekoose First Nation during the Federation of Sovereign
Indigenous Nations (FSIN) tournament.
When Brennan first started playing, it was about having fun. Now, in
addition to the fun, it is about competition, being challenged and building
his skillset. For him, that’s fun.
Through hockey, he has built healthy relationships with his coaches, who
have become his male mentors. He has a huge hockey family, and the game has
created a special community for Brennan.
None of this would be possible without the financial support we received
through the Hockey Canada Foundation Assist Fund.
Previously, we used the Lace ‘Em Up Foundation to get funding support. We
learned more about the Assist Fund through that partnership, which is in
place so kids across Canada can continue to play hockey.
The Assist Fund covers Brennan’s registration, which is nice because I use
what I would have spent to register him to instead buy him equipment, which
he needs as he grows and gets older. It also means I have a little more
money to make sure my other two kids can participate in whatever activities
Brennan understands what the Assist Fund means for him and our family, and
that he gets to continue to play hockey because of the funding.
As a First Nations family, it is important for Brennan to see other
Indigenous people play the game.
By bringing more Indigenous kids into sports, it creates new opportunities
in breaking those cycles that have been created by residential schools and
inter-generational trauma in Canada.
Through the power of hockey, Brennan is getting to experience life
differently than I did.
I can only hope that hockey continues to provide a healthy outlet for my
son so he can achieve his dreams of earning a scholarship to keep playing.
Applications are now being accepted for the Hockey Canada Foundation
Assist Fund. To apply, or to donate to help kids like Brennan play the