Transcript: Ontario Hubs: Little Native Hockey League | Mar 29, 2019

Jeyan sits in the studio. He's is in his thirties, with short black hair and a trimmed beard. He's wearing a black suit, white shirt, and burgundy tie.

A caption on screen reads "Ontario Hubs: Little Native hockey league. Jeyan Jeganathan. @JeyanTVO. @theagenda."

Jeyan says IT STARTED ALMOST A
HALF CENTURY AGO WITH A
TOURNAMENT ON MANITOULIN ISLAND
FEATURING 17 TEAMS AND 200
PLAYERS.
THE LITTLE NATIVE HOCKEY LEAGUE,
ALSO KNOWN AS THE LITTLE NHL HAS
SINCE SPREAD ACROSS THE
PROVINCE.
CLAUDE SHARMA IS OUR NORTHEAST
ONTARIO HUB EDITOR AND JOINS US
FROM LAURENTIAN UNIVERSITY IN
SUDBURY WITH MORE.
WELCOME TO THE SHOW, CLAUDE.

Claude is in his thirties, clean-shaven, with dark hair in a pompadour. He's wearing glasses, a gray suit, white shirt, and striped orange tie.

Claude says THANKS, JEYAN.

Jeyan says WHAT DREW YOU TO THE
SPORT IN PARTICULAR?

The caption changes to "Claude Sharma. Northeast Ontario Hubs Editor."
Then, it changes again to "From the ground up."

Claude says I THINK WHEN I MOVED
UP TO NORTHERN ONTARIO AND NORTH
BAY ABOUT 11 YEARS AGO IT WAS
SOMETHING I NEVER HEARD OF BUT
AS THE TOURNAMENT APP OF YEARS
WENT ON IT WAS A TOURNAMENT THAT
WAS MORE AND MORE POPULAR
REACHING HISTORIC HEIGHTS.
MORE TEAMS JOINING UP, MORE
YOUNG PLAYERS PLAYING IN IT...
ESPECIALLY THE GIRLS.
THIS WAS SOMETHING THAT CAUGHT
MY ATTENTION AS I STARTED BOTH
MORE COMFORTABLE WITH NORTHERN
ONTARIO, WE STARTED SEEING MORE
COVERAGE OF IT.
NOT JUST IN NORTHERN ONTARIO BUT
ALL OVER THE PROVINCE.
SO I THINK IT'S THE UNIQUENESS
OR THE FACT THAT THIS IS JUST
FOR ONTARIO ABORIGINAL
COMMUNITIES THERE ARE MANY
PIECES THAT MAKE THIS
INTERESTING.

Jeyan says HAD YOU A CHANCE TO
SPEAK TO ONE OF THE FOUNDING
FATHERS OF THE LITTLE NHL.
THIS IS THE 40th YEAR HOW DID
IT GET STARTED?

The caption changes to "Claude Sharma, @ClaudeSharma."

Claude says YEAH, SO I SPOKE TO
FORMER WHITE FISH RIVER FIRST
NATION JAMES MCGREGOR, JIM
MCGREGOR, 80 YEARS OLD.
HE IS ONLY ONE OF THE FIVE
FOUNDING FATHERS REMAINING.
SO HE SAID PROBABLY THE BIGGEST
REASON WHY IS THAT THEY NEEDED A
TOURNAMENT STRICTLY FOR THEIR
BOYS OR FIRST NATION PLAYERS.
BECAUSE THEY WERE DEALING WITH
RACISM, WITH PREJUDICE.
IN TOURNAMENTS THEY PLAY OUTSIDE
OF THEIR COMMUNITIES.
SO THAT'S A BIG REASON WHY IT
STARTED.
BACK IN 1971, 17 TEAMS.
AND NOW TODAY, IN MISSISSAUGA, A
PLACE THAT CAN HOLD NOW MORE
THAN 225 TEAMS PLAYED ON 14 OR
15 PADS.
550 GAMES.
IF YOU SEE HOW MUCH IT HAS
EXPLODED OVER THE YEARS, AND
THIS IS SOMETHING HE AT ANY TIME
REALLY EXPECT AT ALL.
BUT HE IS HAPPY IT'S GOTTEN TO
THIS POINT.

Jeyan says NOW LET'S TALK IN
TERMS OF THE PLAYERS IN THIS
LEAGUE.
THEY'RE FROM AGES 4 TO ABOUT 18.
AND SOME NHL'ERS HAVE KIND OF
GROWN THROUGH... HAVE PLAYED IN
THIS LEAGUE AND GONE ON TO DO
SOME THINGS.
TELL ME ABOUT THAT.

Claude says TO NAME A FEW.
AND AM I HAVE WATCHED GROWING UP
I THINK THE JONATHAN CHEECHOO,
SCORING THE MOST GOALS IN ONE
SEASON WHEN HE PLAYED FOR THE
SAN JOSE SHARKS.
I THINK OF CODY McCORMICK,
CHRIS SIMON... JASON SIMON.
AND OF COURSE ONE OF THE MOST
FAMOUS FAMILIES THE NOLAN FAMILY
FROM GARDEN RIVER FIRST NATION.
AND EXPECT THAT LIST TO GROW.
WE'RE SEEING SO MANY MORE
PLAYERS IN THIS TOURNAMENT.
SO IT'S GOING TO SEE A NICE
ADDITION TO THE NHL ALUMNI.

Jeyan says NOW, AS OF THIS PAST
DECEMBER, THE LITTLE NHL HAS A
NEW FEMALE PRESIDENT RUNNING THE
SHOW.
YOU HAD A CHANCE TO TALK TO HER.
THERE'S A Q and A THAT WILL BE UP ON
OUR WEBSITE.
TELL ME, WHAT DID YOU FIND MOST
INTERESTING ABOUT HER?

The caption changes to "Leading Lady of the LNHL."

Claude says MANY THINGS.
I THINK MARIAN JACKO WHO TOOK
OVER THIS ROLE LATE LAST YEAR,
ONLY THE SECOND FEMALE PRESIDENT
OF THE LITTLE NHL.
AND THAT'S IMPRESSIVE
CONSIDERING HOW LONG IT'S BEEN
GOING ON FOR.
ANOTHER THING, TOO, IT'S HER
ROLE.
SHE'S ON ONTARIO'S CHILDREN'S
LAWYER.
SO KIND OF REPRESENTING CHILDREN
UNDER 18 IN VARIOUS LEGAL
MATTERS.
SO IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT, AS A
LAWYER, WITH A FAMILY, TWO
CHILDREN WHO PLAY IN THE
TOURNAMENT.
FROM WITHIN UNCEDED TERRITORY.
SHE'S ALSO A TRAINER, A COACH,
FOR HER GIRLS' TEAMS.
AND SHE WANTED TO DO THIS ALL
FOR NOT ONLY HER KIDS BUT THE
KIDS IN GENERAL.
SHE SAYS THESE FIRST NATION
COMMUNITIES COME TO THESE
TOURNAMENTS YEAR AFTER YEAR.
AND THIS IS THEIR SUPERBOWL.
THIS IS THEIR GREY CUP.
AND THE FACT THAT SHE'S DOING
THIS WITH THE JOB SHE HAS, THE
CHILDREN, HER INVOLVEMENT IN
HOCKEY, AND BEING A VOLUNTEER
AND PART OF THE EXECUTIVE FOR
YEARS THERE ARE MANY THINGS TO
LIKE ABOUT MARIAN JACKO.

Jeyan says NOW, IN TWO YEARS
THEY'LL BE CELEBRATING THE
50th ANNIVERSARY OF THIS
TOURNAMENT.
YOU HAD MENTIONED HOW IT'S GROWN
SIGNIFICANTLY SINCE 1971.
HOW BIG CAN THIS TOURNAMENT GET?

Claude says WELL, THE GOAL IS TO
GROW THIS EVERY YEAR, TO GET
BETTER EVERY YEAR.
THEY'RE SEEING SO MUCH GROWTH.
BUT AT THE SAME TIME, TOO, MAYBE
NOT TOO MUCH.
I WASN'T TOLD THAT THERE'S A
NUMBER AT ALL THAT THEY'RE GOING
TO CAP THIS AT.
THERE THEY'RE GOING TO KIND OF
GO WITH IT AND YOU SEE WHAT ELSE
COMES FROM IT.
BUT, YES, NEXT YEAR IS THE
49th.
THIS FOLLOWING YEAR IN 2021, THE
50th.
ALSO IN MISSISSAUGA.
AND THEY HAVE BIG THINGS PLANNED
FOR IT.
AND IT'S GOING TO BE HOSTED BY
THE LITTLE NHL EXECUTIVE EACH
YEAR IT'S HOSTED BY A DIFFERENT
FIRST NATION COMMUNITY.
BUT KIND OF A MORE MEMORABLE
ONE.
KIND OF GOING BACK TO ITS ROOTS.
AND BEING HELD BY THE LITTLE NHL
EXECUTIVE.
AND HELD IN MISSISSAUGA AGAIN
THAT YEAR.
I KNOW YOU WERE THERE, JEYAN
FOLLOWING THE TEAM AROUND HOW
WAS IT FOR YOU?

Jeyan says YOU MENTIONED OFF THE
TOP THIS BEING UNIQUE AND THAT'S
WHAT KIND OF DREW YOU TO IT.
FOR ME WHAT I FOUND SO
ASTONISHING ABOUT THIS LEAGUE IS
A LOT OF PLAYERS HAVE NEVER
PLAYED WITH THEIR TEAMMATES
BEFORE.
THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THOUGH
GET ON THE ICE AND THEY GET TO
KIND OF THE FIRST COUPLE OF
MINUTES ARE ROCKY BUT IT'S KITE
ASTONISHING THE FRIENDSHIPS YOU
SEE ON AND OFF THE ICE. IT WAS
DEFINITELY A GREAT EXPERIENCE TO
SEE IT. THANK YOU, CLAUDE.
I APPRECIATE YOU BEING ON THE
SHOW. ALWAYS A PLEASURE TO HAVE
YOU. THAT'S CLAUDE SHARMA OUR
NORTHEASTERN ONTARIO HUB EDITOR.

The caption changes to "Producer: Patricia Kozicka, @TrishKozicka."

An animated slate reads "Ontario Hubs. Ontario Hubs are made possible by The Barry and Laurie Green Family Charitable Trust and Goldie Feldman."

Watch: Ontario Hubs: Little Native Hockey League