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PAGC (Prince Albert Grand Council) hosting 2001 winter games.

Aboriginal athletes from across Saskatchewan will be gathering in Prince Albert April 16 to 20, as the Prince Albert Grand Council hosts the 21st annual First Nations Winter Games. Hockey, broomball, volleyball and badminton competition will be featured, along with two demonstration sports--arm wrestling and girls ice hockey.

This year's winter games will see a slight change in format from past years, to help cut down the cost as well as give athletes, coaches and chaperones a chance to spend some Easter holiday time together with their families.

"We're dividing the games up into two parts, with the young group coming in first and the oldest coming in," explained PAGC sports and recreation coordinator John Fitzgerald.

The first three age groups to see action will be the novice, atoms and peewee groups, with the bantams and midgets coming in to compete in the second half of the games.

"That means we'll be hitting 1,370 people, coaches, chaperones, and athletes, in the first part, and then halfway, we'll be going to 1,780 chaperones, coaches, athletes in the last section.

"The reason why we're doing that is because for a long time, the summer games and the winter games have cost us a fortune, and this way, it cuts us down to half the food, half the accommodation, half the security ... Everything's half, so that's good for us," Fitzgerald said.

"Easter holidays is when we have the games, and the kids go from school to the winter games, and then to school. They don't get any holidays anymore. That way families can get together for the Easter holidays."

Special events during the week will include a youth talent show, round dance, Dene hand drumming, Voices of the North show, a corporate banquet, a MuchMusic youth dance, and the Saskatchewan youth role model awards.

"We hosted the games in 1995, and we were very successful and we had a lot of athletes here," said PAGC vice chief Leonard Hardlotte. "We even beat the attendance of athletes for the [North American] Indigenous Games, so we were very proud of that fact. And also, we weren't ruined financially by those winter games, and the competition was very high."

For more information, visit the games web site at, or call PACG sports and recreation at 306-953-7200.

National Aboriginal Curling Championships coming to Saskatoon

The 2001 National Aboriginal curling Championships will be held April 16 to 20 at the Granite curling club in Saskatoon.

For more information, call Maynard at 306-384-8153, or Martin at 306-554-2182.

Siksika to host NIAA basketball championships

For the first time it its 27-year history, the National Indian Athletic Association is bringing its men's and ladies' basketball championship north of the border.

The annual championship is being hosted by the Siksika Nation of the Blackfoot federation. The event will be held in Calgary from April 17 to 21.

"There's good response from the surrounding communities, the Native communities. They're all pretty excited about it," said tournament director Faron McMaster.

Hosting the NIAA championship is something Siksika has been lobbying for for a number of years, McMaster explained.

"We've been lobbying the NIAA board for about eight years, trying to get it up here. They just changed presidents last year, and Ernie Stevens Jr. is now the president. And he'd been up here to our invitational tournament, and so we lobbied him at that time, and then we lobbied him again last year, and finally on Jan. 1 they made an announcement," said McMaster.

The roster for this year's championship will be made up of 24 men's and 24 ladies' teams. McMaster expects of those teams, 10 men's teams and 10 ladies' teams will be from Canada. In past years, when the event was held in the U.S., Canada's contingent has been much smaller, with about four teams participating.

"Our ladies' team has been going for the last 10 years from here, and then there's a Vancouver team that always goes for the ladies. And then we usually send a men's team from here and then Saskatchewan usually sends a men's team," McMaster said.

During this year's event, the first Canadian team to compete in the NIAA championship will be honored. That team took part in the first ever NIAA championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1972.

Games will be played at the Jack Simpson Gym at University of Calgary, as well as at surrounding schools. Teams wanting to take part in the event must register by March 30.

For more information about the basketball championship, call Faron McMaster at 403-734-5394, or e-mail to, or visit the event web site at
COPYRIGHT 2001 Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta (AMMSA)
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Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Wind Speaker
Date:Apr 1, 2001
Previous Article:Curling bonspiel to be held in Winnipeg.
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