Sports Briefs: Indigenous NHLer, lacrosse, sports funding and hockey tournament

Friday, February 10th, 2023 2:03pm


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Connor Dewar and Tehoka Nanticoke
By Sam Laskaris

Dewar enjoying first full NHL season

Connor Dewar has already more than doubled his point production from his rookie National Hockey League season.

Dewar, who is Métis, has benefitted from the fact he has spent the entire season so far in the NHL.

This actually marks Dewar’s fourth season as a pro. He had been drafted by the Minnesota Wild in the third round of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.

Dewar, who is from The Pas, Man., then spent the following season honing his skills in the Western Hockey League, where he served as the captain of the Everett Silvertips.

Dewar, who is now 23, played his entire junior career, four seasons, with the Silvertips, who are based in the state of Washington.

After turning pro Dewar played two full seasons in the Iowa Stars, Minnesota’s American Hockey League affiliate. He played a portion of the 2021-22 campaign in Iowa and also appeared in 36 NHL contests, one of those being a playoff match, with Minnesota Wild and earned six points.

As for this season, Dewar had been credited with 13 points (five goals and eight assists) in his first 50 games with the Minnesota squad.

Nanticoke continuing high-scoring ways with Bandits

Tehoka Nanticoke is once again providing a significant boost to the Buffalo Bandits’ offence.

Nanticoke, a member of the Six Nations of the Grand River in Ontario, is in his second season with the National Lacrosse League franchise.

Nanticoke, who is 25, had an immediate impact with the Bandits in his rookie year, compiling 51 points (32 goals and 19 assists) in 18 regular season games.

Nanticoke had been the Bandits’ first round selection, third over-all, in the 2021 NLL Entry Draft.

As for this season, Nanticoke is on pace to surpass his rookie statistical totals and is averaging close to four points per outing. He’s racked up 32 points, including 18 goals, in Buffalo’s first nine contests.

Nanticoke is occupying fourth place in the team scoring race.

And he’s been one of the reasons the Bandits are currently sporting a 7-2 record, good for top spot in the NLL’s seven-team East Division. Buffalo’s next game is not until Feb. 18 versus the visiting Philadelphia Wings.

Federal government provides funding for Indigenous sports programming

The federal government announced in early February it will provide $1.25 million in the coming year to support a particular component of Indigenous sports programming.

The funding will be made available to the 13 provincial and territorial sports bodies that are recognized by the Aboriginal Sports Circle, the governing organizing for Indigenous sports in the country.

The provincial and territorial organization will use the funding to continue providing or implement new sports programming for Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people.

Pascale St-Onge, the minister of sport, said enabling Indigenous youth, women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people to participate in sport benefits entire communities.

“Creating more opportunities to get them involved in sports, whether as participants or coaches, will empower the next generation to be more active and develop better self-esteem, as well as a heightened sense of community and connection,” St-Onge said. “That’s why this community-based funding is so important.”

Funding is available via the Sport for Social Development in Indigenous Communities program.

Hundreds of Indigenous communities have already benefited from various projects that have been federally funded since the program’s launch in 2019.

The set aside of $1.25 million in the third stream of the call for applications is specifically for programming for Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people.

The federal government is also providing an additional $2.5 million in funding for all other eligible Indigenous applications.

The application deadline for the latest funding is March 22. Those interested in more information, including how to obtain an application, can visit

Planning in full swing for 2023 Fred Sasakamoose tournament

The participating squads have been selected.

And organizers are continuing with their plans for the 2023 Fred Sasakamoose Chief Thunderstick National Hockey Championship.

This year’s event is scheduled for May 18 to May 21 in Saskatoon.

The invitational tournament, which features both women’s and men’s divisions, is considered the Canadian championship for Indigenous adult hockey teams.

A total of 40 men’s clubs will take part in this year’s tourney. And there will be 16 participating squads in the women’s category.

The men’s division will feature squads from six provinces. Also taking part will be Nunavut’s Rankin Inlet Falcons and the Inuvik Huskies representing the Northwest Territories.

Round-robin pools that all teams will compete in will be announced on April 12.