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Haitian Native banned from tournament.

A 20-year-old who was raised by a family in British Columbia's Heiltsuk First Nation is disappointed he was banned from participating in a recent All Native Basketball Tournament.

Organizers of the event, which concluded on Feb. 13 in Prince Rupert, B.C., would not allow Josiah Wilson to compete.

That's because Wilson, who wanted to play for the Heiltsuk Wolf Pack, was born in Haiti. He was adopted in his homeland when he was five months old by a Heiltsuk doctor.

Despite the fact he was raised by an Aboriginal family, tournament organizers prevented Wilson from taking part. They cited a tournament rule which states all competing players must be of North American Indigenous bloodlines/ancestry.

Only those who are at least one-eighth Indigenous (having had at least one Indigenous great-grandparent) were allowed to take part.

Wilson had taken part in the All Native Basketball Tournament, which includes squads from across British Columbia and Alaska, during each of the past two previous years. About 400 players took part at this year's event.

Wilson had also competed in British Columbia's All Native Junior Championships twice.

Wilson, who was legally adopted, is registered with the Heiltsuk First Nation and also has a status Indian card.

Concerns about his eligibility were raised this year and that is why tournament organizers investigated and made their decision to exclude Wilson.

Following the tournament Wilson wrote an article in The Globe and Mail about his exclusion from this year's event. He said he identified himself as being Haitian, Canadian, First Nations, Francophone and Black.

He also wrote that he was frustrated and angry with the decision to ban him. But he is also hoping that organizers will allow him to take part at next year's All Native Basketball Tournament.

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Title Annotation:Sports Briefs
Author:Laskaris, Sam
Publication:Windspeaker
Geographic Code:1CBRI
Date:Mar 1, 2016
Words:293
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