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News - Details

BC Hockey Creates Indigenous Participation Work Group
Thursday, March 7, 2019

BC Hockey along with community partners have created an Indigenous Participation Work Group that will work towards the overall goal to ensure that hockey programs in BC are focused on increasing participation of Indigenous people in hockey and ensuring that programs provide safe and welcoming environment for Indigenous people.

The work group consists of the following community leaders:



Ben Berland

Dakelhne/Cree  Binche Whut'en 

Rick Brant

Executive Director, Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation Council

Patrick Kelly

President, Golf BC, consultant Leq:amel First Nation and former Advisor to the Lieutenant Governor of BC

Christine O’Bonsawin

Abenaki Nation (Odanak), Associate Professor of Indigenous Studies and History, University of Victoria 

Bill Greene

Chair of the Board, BC Hockey

Barry Petrachenko

Chief Executive Officer, BC Hockey

Jeremy Ainsworth

Chief Program Officer, BC Hockey

"The formation of this work group is an important and positive initial step in moving us forward towards implementing the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission call to action, as it applies to our sport,” said Bill Greene, BC Hockey Chair of the Board.

The work group is focused on a few key areas that include:

  • Provide opportunities for Indigenous people to access hockey programs, encourage increased participation, and supply equipment and offer curriculum instruction to Indigenous communities as forms of legaciesWorking with the Canadian government to amend the Physical Activity and Sport Act to support reconciliation by ensuring that policies to promote physical activity as a fundamental element of health and well-being, reduce barriers to sports participation, increase the pursuit of excellence in sport, and build capacity in the Canadian sport system, are inclusive of Indigenous peoples.
  • Recommending that the Aboriginal Coaching Modules become integrated into BC Hockey clinics.
  • Working with the host officials of sanctioned BC Hockey events to ensure that Indigenous peoples’ territorial protocols are respected, and local Indigenous communities are engaged in all aspects of planning and participating in such events. 

In addition, BC Hockey has created a new annual award, the Indigenous Impact and Legacy Award that will be presented at the Annual Congress. The award will be presented to an individual, team, league or Association that has demonstrated a commitment to increase Indigenous inclusivity and participation in the sport of hockey.

For more information about BC Hockey, please visit the BC Hockey website at or email or follow along through social media at,, or



BC Hockey is a non-profit organization and member of Hockey Canada in charge of governing amateur hockey at all levels in British Columbia and the Yukon Territory.

Approximately 150 minor hockey associations, 55,000 players, 4,500 referees, 20,000 official volunteers and countless others make our great game possible here in Pacific Canada.



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