Aspiring hockey players on Piikani Nation in southern Alberta scored a chance to pass the puck to a historic Olympian this week.
Brigette Lacquette, the first Indigenous woman to play hockey for Team Canada, is touring the country inspiring Indigenous youth to do the same.
Fresh from the PyeonChang Winter Olympics, Lacquette ran drills and played on-ice games with youth and was later honoured with the Blackfoot name meaning “beautiful eagle woman” at Piikani Nation Secondary School.
“I always admired the ladies on the national team but there was no one really no one that had the same kind of path, come from a small community and is First Nations,” she says.
It’s a path that came with obstacles. Growing up, Lacquette says she faced bullying and racism.
Now she’s an inspiration.
“To play and put that jersey on and represent Canada – not only Canada but my First Nations people – it was amazing,” she said. “Obviously we had the expectation of winning. But in the bigger picture making a positive impact for these kids and having all the support back home that really comforted me in the loss. And then realizing that I’ve made such an impact on these kids – I really am winning.”
Lacquette will continue to tour Blackfoot communities in southern Alberta, proudly wearing her silver medal and sharing her stories.