2021 Indigenous Hockey Summit
Registration is now open for the 2021 Indigenous Hockey Summit, which runs virtually on August 27-28, beginning with a keynote panel on August 27 featuring Wacey Rabbit, his father, Marvin Yellowhorn, and Jordan Courtepatte.
Note: There is no immediate charge to register for the Indigenous Hockey Summit, but there will be an eventual charge for coach and official clinics. More information will be sent out after registration is complete.
Hockey Alberta, in partnership with the Indigenous Sport Council of Alberta, is running this virtual summit to gather hockey leaders from around the province to continue the growth of the game in Indigenous hockey communities, and allow for networking and sharing best practices.
The Indigenous Hockey Summit kicks off on the evening of Friday, August 27 with a keynote discussion. Training sessions and clinics follow on Saturday, August 28, with three streams: MHA administration, coaches, and officials.
The Friday night keynote panel is open to all minor hockey associations, coaches and officials across the province, while the Saturday MHA Stream will focus on the Indigenous Minor Hockey Associations, with the opportunity for any other Minor Hockey Associations to attend and participate. Coaching and Officiating clinics will only be available for members of Indigenous Minor Hockey Associations and other Indigenous hockey leaders.
Wacey, a member of the Kainai First Nation, played all of his minor hockey in Alberta before moving on to the Western Hockey League, where he played for the Saskatoon Blades from 2002-06, serving as team captain for the 2005-06 season. He was drafted by the Boston Bruins in 2005, and after a brief stint with Boston’s American Hockey League affiliate Providence Bruins, he returned to the WHL, and was traded to the Vancouver Giants, whom he would go on to win the 2007 Memorial Cup with. Wacey also suited up for Team Alberta (the first Indigenous hockey player to do so) at the 2003 Canada Winter Games, helping the team to a gold medal.
Though he would never go on to play in the NHL, Wacey has played professional hockey ever since, and his career has taken him all over the world, with stops in Norway, the Asia League, Italy, the Czech Republic, Romania, and more. He is currently a player and Assistant Coach with the Jacksonville Icemen of the East Coast Hockey League, and served as captain this past season.
Wacey still calls Alberta home during the offseason, and serves as a mentor to Indigenous youth and young adults, and is currently and ambassador for the Indigenous Sport Council of Alberta. He also recently started his own hockey school, and spearheaded the WR20 Power Skills on Ice Hockey Development program, so that he can continue to give back to the hockey community.
Marvin, a member of the Piikani First Nation, has been involved in hockey for most of his life as a player, parent, and volunteer.
He helped his son, Wacey, navigate his hockey career from the grassroots level, all the way to his professional career.
Marvin has also been a volunteer or committee member in a number of roles. He was a Southern Alberta rep for the Alberta Indian Hockey Association, he coordinated the Treaty 7 Minor Hockey Playoffs, founded the Treaty 7 Winter and Summer Games under the Alberta Sports Council, helped run the Ted Nolan Hockey School, and helped coordinate the Treaty Hockey Summit.
Hailing from the Enoch Cree Nation, Jordan grew up in Edmonton, AB and began playing minor hockey at age ten before moving on to play Junior ‘A’ in the British Columbia Hockey League, post-secondary at the Northern Institute of Technology (NAIT), and in the Central Hockey League for the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees in Texas.
After a short stint in Texas, Jordan was involved in a car accident that caused a severe back injury, ending his playing career, which sparked him to begin mentoring with youth in Enoch, working in the Recreation Department and developing programs for the youth. He ran hockey camps and began coaching in Native hockey tournaments, quickly learning that Enoch is an amazing hockey community with an abundance of gifted athletes that love the game.
Jordan also witnessed barriers that prevented many Enoch youth from playing organized hockey, and researched ways of getting them involved in organized hockey, which led him to create the Enoch Cree Hockey Association. With the support of his community, help from board members, the Maskwacis Minor Hockey Association, and members of the hockey community, the Enoch Cree Hockey Assoication accomplished its goal of bringing minor hockey back to Enoch. The Association has given Enoch youth the opportunity to play organized hockey, represent their Nation, and bring the community together through the game of hockey.