‘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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Town of Ladysmith receives $3.3 million grant for Arts & Heritage Hub

The funds will go to creating artist studios around the Machine Shop and maintaining heritage assets

Extension given for Cowichan region homeless tenting sites

Meeting with BC Housing to determine the next step

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses claim against Island Corridor Foundation

Snaw-Naw-As (Nanoose) First Nation was seeking return of reserve land as railway sits unused

What’s in a name? Ladysmith’s historical streets re-examined

Several streets in downtown Ladysmith are named after generals that served in the Boer War

UPDATE: Knuckles has been returned to LCHC display

Knuckles was stolen between 11:00am - 12:00pm on July 1

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

Police issue warning after baby comes across suspected drugs in Kamloops park

The 11-month-old girl’s mother posted photos on social media showing a small plastic bag containing a purple substance

Collision results in train derailment just east of Golden

The derailment occurred Sunday night, according to a statement from CP

Lower Mainland woman says llama farming neighbour shot her 11-month-old pup

Young dog was on owner’s Maple Ridge property when it was killed on June 21

B.C. records 31 new cases, six deaths over three days due to COVID-19

There are 166 active cases in B.C., 16 people in hospital

B.C. highway widening job reduced, costs still up $61 million

Union-only project scales back work to widen Trans-Canada

Most Read