‘White’ hockey teams in Manitoba accused of forming league without First Nations

Five teams were part of the KJHL until May, when they left to create the Capital Region League

A lawyer representing some Indigenous hockey teams in Manitoba argued in court Wednesday that all the “white teams” got together and formed a new Junior B league that excludes First Nations.

All of the teams were part of the Keystone Junior Hockey League until May when five teams left to create the Capital Region League.

“White teams quietly got together and removed themselves leaving behind the First Nations teams,” lawyer Jamie Kagan told court.

The First Nations teams complained. A Hockey Manitoba tribunal ruled that former KJHL players would need a release to play in the new league and pay a $500 fee. The decision was to protect the KJHL from a mass exodus of players, which Kagan argued would spell the end of the league.

But that didn’t happen before the new league hit the ice in October.

The Peguis, Norway House Cree, Opaskwayak Cree, Fisher River Cree and Cross Lake First Nations filed a statement of claim in October against Hockey Manitoba, the Manitoba Amateur Hockey Association, the new league and the five teams in it.

Kagan is asking the judge for an injunction pending a trial. The injunction would expire at the end of the 2018-19 season.

READ MORE: Minor hockey investigates after N-word allegedly used on B.C. ice

READ MORE: FIFA to probe Russian racism against France players

Bill Bowles, a lawyer representing the Capital Region League, said if the injunction is granted, about 100 players in the new league won’t be able to play for the season because there isn’t space on KJHL teams and it’s unlikely new teams could be formed in time.

He told court the new league was created because of safety concerns about long drives on the highway. He said it had nothing to do with racism and cautioned Kagan against making that suggestion.

The First Nations could appeal the decision through Hockey Manitoba and the court does not need to have a role in “shutting down a hockey league,” Bowles added.

“They are asking you to stop 100 kids from playing hockey.”

The judge is to deliver a decision on the injunction on Friday.

Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Slocan Valley Youth Centre starts teen summer reading challenge

Kids who read three different types of books by Aug. 31 will receive a special prize

Nelson’s police chief retiring

Chief Paul Burkart has given notice for the spring of 2021

Fresh local food for families goal of new West Kootenay EcoSociety program

Produce from three local organic farms will be delivered weekly to 54 low income families

LETTER: Park road only fit for a tank

From reader Sheila McCormack

LETTER: Three observations about Nelson

From reader Brian Zacharias

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Wedding party bear sprayed at Okanagan campsite irks locals

Latest criminal activity at the Meadows leaves locals frustrated

Paramedics fired for allowing patient to crawl for treatment on Downtown Eastside: court documents

The man spent three days in intensive care and three months recovering in hospital from sepsis

Feds seeking private consultant to design firearm buyback program

The ban covers some 1,500 models and variants of what the government considers assault-style weapons

Face masks for teachers can impact learning on young children, experts say

Face coverings, mandatory in most indoor public places across the province, can help limit the spread of COVID-19

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

Most Read