She­shat­shiu makes bid for Kraft Hock­eyville

The Aurora (Labrador City) - - CLASSIFIED - BY EVAN CAREEN

Kraft Hock­eyville is back and She­shat­shiu wants the spe­cial des­tinc­tion.

Shan­non Tobin, spe­cial li­ai­son to Chief Eu­gene Hart at the She­shat­shiu Innu First Na­tion Band Coun­cil Of­fice, said the idea was con­sid­ered for years but no one re­ally picked up on it. He said a fo­cus on hockey has been grow­ing in She­shat­shiu and fol­low­ing a fan­tas­tic show­ing at this year’s Lake Melville Mega-Tour­na­ment, the com­mu­nity had a ban­quet an­nounc­ing they would sub­mit for Hock­eyville this year.

Tobin said once they started work­ing on the sub­mis­sion they no­ticed many of the things they do with hockey tend to also en­gage with the his­tory and the de­vel­op­ment of the Innu.

“One of the things men­tioned in the ap­pli­ca­tion is that we named our arena af­ter Joseph Riche who was a chief who trag­i­cally died in an ac­ci­dent. Our mar­quee tour­na­ment, the Penote Ben Michel Tour­na­ment, is named af­ter one of the prom­i­nent lead­ers for the Innu peo­ple. So we can rec­og­nize the his­tory of the Innu and also rec­og­nize the youth com­ing up and giv­ing them a piece of the his­tory of the com­mu­nity while they are also learn­ing their fu­ture sport.”

Now that sub­mis­sions are closed, the com­mu­ni­ties will be whit­tled down to 10, five from Eastern Canada and five from the West. Vot­ing from the pub­lic will then be open, and the top from east and west will face off , and both will get $100,000. The win­ner will also get an NHL ex­hi­bi­tion game, which Tobin said is some­thing they ‘re­ally, re­ally want.’

If se­lected, they have two arena projects that would most ben­e­fit from the prize money. The ma­jor­ity of the funds would be in­vested in up­grad­ing the seat­ing area in the arena to ac­com­mo­date the grow­ing in­ter­est in hockey. The sec­ond project would be ac­quir­ing technology to make the arena state of the art.

“We would like to fo­cus on de­vel­op­ing our hockey play­ers into the best in the world. We would like to in­stall equip­ment that would record an­a­lyt­ics and video re­view. We feel that this would help all ages learn the game and help them set achiev­able goals to bet­ter them­selves,” the com­mu­nity’s sub­mis­sion stated. “As well a ben­e­fit of this project would be the so­cial as­pect that we could broad­cast games live so those who could not be in there at the arena could watch the games from any­where they may be or play­ers could share their big goal or their great save with fam­ily and friends and re­live those mo­ments at home.”

While hockey is not a sport that has tra­di­tion­ally been as­so­ci­ated with the Innu, it has al­ways been big in She­shat­shiu.

“Even my­self grow­ing up in Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay we al­ways had four or five play­ers on our mi­nor hockey team come up from She­shat­shiu and play in our di­vi­sions,” Tobin said. “When we ac­tu­ally had se­nior hockey run­ning in Goose Bay there was a team from here and it was al­ways a game to watch. They al­ways brought the pas­sion to the game.”

That was prior to the arena in She­shat­shiu and now Tobin said mi­nor hockey has been grow­ing ex­po­nen­tially ev­ery year. They also have their own se­nior hockey games in the evenings as well.

“The in­ter­est­ing thing is there will be games down here for peo­ple to play rec league at 8 o’clock and they all still drive up and play an­other game at 10 o’clock in Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay,” Tobin said. “Hockey is some­thing that’s re­ally been picked up in the com­mu­nity; ball hockey and ice hockey are the two big­gest sports here. It’s very much a year-round sport here.”

To view She­shat­shiu’s sub­mis­sion visit http://www.khv2017. ca/en/nom­i­na­tions/pro­file/ joseph-riche-1/. They can also be found on Face­book at https:// www.face­­shat­shi­uHock­eyville/.

The top 10 will be an­nounced on March 4 and the first vot­ing pe­riod will be March 12 and 13. The top two will be an­nounced on March 18, with vot­ing tak­ing place over the fol­low­ing two days.

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