Transcript: How one First Nation made its mark in the Little NHL | Mar 29, 2019

A boy sits outside a hockey rink wearing a black, white and yellow team jersey and a helmet.

A boy's voice says WHEN YOU'RE WEARING THAT TEAM JERSEY, YOU'RE REPRESENTING YOUR BAND.

In slow motion, the boy and his team pour out onto the ice.

A man's voice says YOU ROMANTICIZE THE WHOLE THING.

As clips show the children preparing to play, another man's voice says
TO FINALLY SECURE A TEAM
UNDER OUR COLOURS, THE
MISSANABIE MASKWA, IT'S VERY
EXCITING TO SEE THIS MOVING
FORWARD.

In a locker room, a clean-shaven man in his late thirties, with short dark hair, points at a tactical chart as he talks.

Jeyan Jeganathan narrates COACH DOMINIC FLETCHER
AND HIS TEAM HAVE MADE HISTORY
AT THIS YEAR'S LITTLE NATIVE
HOCKEY LEAGUE. FOR THE FIRST
TIME IN THE LEAGUE'S HISTORY,
HIS BAND, MISSANABIE CREE FIRST
NATION IS PLAYING IN THE LARGEST
INDIGENOUS HOCKEY TOURNAMENT IN
ONTARIO.
THE LITTLE NATIVE HOCKEY LEAGUE
ALSO KNOWN AS THE LITTLE NHL WAS
FORMED IN 1971-72.
THE INAUGURAL TOURNAMENT WAS
HELD IN LITTLE CURRENT, ONTARIO,
ON MANITOULIN ISLAND WITH A
ROSTER COMPRISED OF JUST 17 TEAMS.

A map of Ontario appears and homes in on Little Current, southwest of Sudbury.

In a clip, Dominic trains children in daytime.

Jeyan continues FLETCHER HIMSELF TOOK PART IN
THIS TOURNAMENT AS A 12-YEAR-OLD YOUNGSTER.

Dominic stands near the rink and talks.

A caption reads "Dominic Fletcher. Coach."

Dominic says COMING INTO THIS TOURNAMENT
WAS UNREAL.
I MEAN THE TALENTS, THE, YOU
KNOW, SOME CHILDREN, THEY DON'T
EVEN PLAY ORGANIZED HOCKEY BUT
JUST THE SKILL SET THEY HAVE
FROM PLAYING ON RINKS AND JUST
PLAYING POND HOCKEY, PICK UP
HOCKEY, AND IT WAS VERY FUN.

Jeyan narrates BUT HE NEVER HAD THE
OPPORTUNITY TO PLAY UNDER HIS BAND.
INSTEAD HE PLAYED AS A PICK UP
PLAYER FOR ANOTHER FIRST NATION.
BUT THIS YEAR, HE NOT ONLY WAS
ABLE TO SEE HIS DAUGHTER REINA
DO THAT BUT GOT TO COACH HER AS WELL.

Clips show a girl wearing the team jersey and a helmet.

Dominic says PLAYING UNDER YOUR BAND'S
COLOURS UNDERNEATH OUR BANNER,
IT MEANS A WHOLE, WHOLE LOT.

The team plays a match against rivals in blue in a more professional-looking rink.

Jeyan narrates THE LEAGUE HAS
OUTGROWN ITS ROOTS IN NORTHERN
ONTARIO AND NOW PLAYERS FROM
ACROSS THE PROVINCE TRAVEL TO
MISSISSAUGA TO PLAY IN THE
FOUR-DAY TOURNAMENT.
AND THIS YEAR, IN ITS 48th
YEAR, A RECORD 227 TEAMS FROM
VARIOUS DIVISIONS COMPETED IN
THE TOURNAMENT.

Dominic says ALL THE COMMUNITIES, WE ALL
WORK TOGETHER.
THIS IS NOT ABOUT JUST ONE
RESERVE, ONE TEAM TRYING TO WIN
IT ALL.
IT'S ABOUT, YOU KNOW, HOW MANY
TEAMS CAN WE GET UP THERE.

Jeyan narrates THIS PAST SUMMER, THE
MISSANABIE CREE FIRST NATIONS
RECEIVED RESERVE STATUS FROM THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.
SOMETHING THEY'VE BEEN FIGHTING
FOR FOR OVER A DECADE.
THE MISSANABIE FIRST NATION IS
LOCATED NORTH OF SAULT STE.
MARIE AND WEST OF TIMMINS.
IT ENCOMPASSES ABOUT 450 MEMBERS
SPREAD OUT ACROSS CANADA.

A map of Ontario appears, highlighting the location of the Missanabie Cree First Nation, north of Sault Saint Marie.

A man stands outside the rink, talking.

A caption reads "Jason Gauthier. Missanabie Cree First Nation Chief."

Jason, in his fifties, clean-shaven, says AFTER 112 YEARS THERE WAS A
LOT OF DISCUSSION, A LOT OF WORK
THAT HAD TO GET DONE.
BUT WE ENDED UP GETTING RESERVE
STATUS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 112
YEARS.
SINCE TREATY SIGNING WAY BACK
WHEN.

Clips show children playing hockey as Jason watches.

Jeyan narrates CHIEF JASON GAUTHIER
WAS APPROACHED BY DOMINIC LATE
LAST YEAR ABOUT RIDING THE
MOMENTUM AND CREATING A TEAM FOR
THE LITTLE NHL UNDER THE BAND'S
COLOURS.
THE COMMUNITY WAS ABLE TO RAISE
OVER 15,000 dollars TO COVER COSTS FOR
ITEMS SUCH AS JERSEYS, TRAVEL
AND HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS.

Dominic says A LOT OF OUR TALENT DOESN'T
GET SHOWCASED ENOUGH.
AND I FEEL LIKE SOMETIMES, YOU
KNOW, IT HAS BECOME A PRIVILEGE
SPORT IN SOME ASPECTS WHERE SOME
KIDS JUST DON'T HAVE THE MONEY
TO PLAY IN REP HOCKEY OR TO PLAY
IN CERTAIN TOURNAMENTS.

Jason says WHEN YOU SEE THEM OUT THERE
AND SEE THEM PLAYING AND SEE
THEM HAVING FUN YOU SEE THEM IN
THE COLOURS IT IS A REALLY GREAT
SENSE OF PRIDE FOR OUR COMMUNITY.

Excited men and women clap and cheer as the teams play.

Jeyan narrates FOR MANY FAMILIES THIS
TRIP HAS PARTICULAR
SIGNIFICANCE.
TEAMS TRAVEL FROM EVERY CORNER
OF THE PROVINCE TO NOT ONLY PLAY
HOCKEY BUT TO RECONNECT WITH
THEIR FAMILIES AND ROOTS.

In a locker room, a woman talks.

A caption reads "Michelle Gideon. Parent."
Michelle, in her late thirties, with long straight brown hair, says IT BRINGS THE COMMUNITY AND
THE PEOPLE TOGETHER.
SO IT'S PRETTY... IT MEANS A
LOT, RIGHT?
ESPECIALLY LIKE SOME GOING TO
SCHOOL, BEING ABLE TO SAY THEIR
INDIGENOUS, IT MEANS A LOT TO
THEM.

Jeyan narrates FOR MICHELLE GIDEON,
THIS TOURNAMENT IS ALSO A CHANCE
TO SEE HER SON KANE IN ACTION.
A MOMENT THAT'S NOT LOST ON THE
8-YEAR-OLD.

Jane sits on a bench in a locker room, smiling.

A caption reads "Kane Gideon. Little NHL."

Kane says IT MAKES ME REALLY REALLY
HAPPY.
BECAUSE THEY GET TO SEE ME.
AND WHENEVER I SCORE A GOAL IT
MAKES ME HAPPY.
BECAUSE THEY SEE IT.
AND IT'S JUST FUN TO PLAY HOCKEY
WITH THEM.

Michelle says HE DOESN'T EVEN REALIZE IT
RIGHT NOW BUT WHEN HE'S AN ADULT
I'M SURE THE STORIES WILL COME
OUT. IT'S HUGE FOR HIM. HIS DAD
PLAYED IN THE LITTLE NHL.
HIS UNCLE PLAYED IN THE LITTLE
NHL AND HIS UNCLE'S COACHING HIM
THIS WEEKEND. IT'S HUGE.
IT'S A BIG HONOUR FOR HIM.

In a clip, the yellow, black and white team scores and celebrates.

Jeyan narrates IN THEIR FIRST-EVER
GAME THE TEAM MANAGED TO COME
BACK FROM A THREE-GOAL DEFICIT
TO WIN IN OVERTIME.
COACH FLETCHER DIDN'T HAVE
EXPECTATIONS FOR THEIR FIRST
GAME LET ALONE THE TOURNAMENT.

In the locker room, Dominic says WE CAME BACK.
WE PLAYED TOGETHER.
WE TRIED HARD.
AND, YOU KNOW WHAT?
WE DID AWESOME.

Jeyan narrates HE IS THINKING LONG
TERM.
A MISSANABIE CREE TEAM FOR YEARS
TO COME.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Ontario Hubs Field Producer, Jeyan Jeganathan, @JeyanTVO. Editor, David Erwin."

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

Watch: How one First Nation made its mark in the Little NHL