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Peters pens book on top Aboriginal athletes.

FREDERICTON

All indications are that Jason Peters will be busier than ever for the foreseeable future.

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The 39-year-old Mi'kmaq will continue to work for the Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat, located in Fredericton, N.B., but now he's also planning to write several more books.

Peters first book, which was released in early November, is titled Aboriginal Sports Heroes: Atlantic Canada.

The book profiles five prominent Aboriginals from the east coast with sporting connections. The book has been well received and people from across the country have been buying copies.

"I guess it's taken on a life of its own," Peters said. So much so that Peters is already working on his second book, one expected to be released next fall, or possibly even earlier.

This book will focus on a younger generation of Aboriginal athletes in Atlantic Canada. Those that will be featured are members of various provincial teams.

Peters then eventually wants to expand and write similar books about Aboriginal sporting personalities from other parts of the country.

"I'd like to move on and cover Ontario, western Canada and the North," he said. "There are so many quality athletes out there."

When he considered subjects to profile for his first book, Peters said they had to fulfill four of his required criteria.

For starters, they had to be Aboriginal. They also had to have obtained some success in the sporting world,

Another requirement Peters was looking for was people who had obtained a post-secondary degree. And finally he was interested in individuals who had or were currently giving back to their communities in some manner.

By finding individuals that met all these criteria, Peters was hoping to write about these role models in an effort to inspire Aboriginal youth.

"I've been working with First Nations communities for the last 10 years," he said. "I wanted to find a group of Aboriginals that people could really look up to."

The book features six chapters. The first one talks about Aboriginal sport in Atlantic Canada. Then there's a chapter on each of the five main individuals featured.

Those profiled in the book are Josh Hepditch, Allison Brooks, George (Tex) Marshall, Sara-Lynne Knockwood and Josh Sacobie.

Hedpitch is in his first season of playing pro hockey with the Central Hockey League's Allen Americans. Hedpitch had spent the past five years with the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds, and prior to that he played four years with the -Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Moncton Wildcats.

Brooks is a former quarterback with the Mount Allison University Mounties. He is now a principal at a Fredericton elementary school.

Marshall is the chairperson of the Aboriginal Sport Circle.

Knockwood is a former tae kwon do world champion, who is currently a program director with Nova Scotia Aboriginal Sport and Recreation.

Sacobie is a former star quarterback of the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees. He now works for Football Canada.

"Luckily I knew quite a bit about all of them before," Peters said of his five profiled personalities. "And I knew three of them (Hedpitch, Brooks and Marshall) quite well."

Peters originally thought that 200 books would be a sufficient number to print. Instead, 2,000 copies were made. And sales have been brisk.

"People from across Canada are buying them," Peters said. "That's pretty surprising."

The book is available at three main bookstores; Indigo, Chapters and Coles. Or it can be ordered online through those stores.

The book can also be bought through Dream Catcher Publishing in Saint John, N.B. Their Web site is www.dreamcatcherpublishing.ca

Peters first became a published writer last year. He started writing a column for a Saint John-based monthly sports magazine, which has since folded.

He's also heavily involved in basketball.

In fact, a couple of years ago it is believed that he made a bit of sports history himself becoming the first Aboriginal to coach a high school basketball team in New Brunswick.

Peters became the head coach of the Simonds Seabees, a senior girls' team from Saint John featuring players in Grades 11 and 12.

Peters is still the coach of the Seabees. And he's also coaching the Bayside Broncos, a girls' middle school team that has players from Grades 6 to 8.

Under Peters' tutelage the Broncos won the provincial championship this past season.

Both the Seabees and Broncos are now in their 2011-12 campaigns.

Peters is also a former president of the East Saint John Minor Basketball Association.

By Sam Laskaris Windspeaker Contributor
COPYRIGHT 2012 Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta (AMMSA)
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2012 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:sports
Author:Laskaris, Sam
Publication:Windspeaker
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Jan 1, 2012
Words:749
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