‘White’ hockey teams in Manitoba accused of forming league without First Nations

Five teams were part of the KJHL until May, when they left to create the Capital Region League

A lawyer representing some Indigenous hockey teams in Manitoba argued in court Wednesday that all the “white teams” got together and formed a new Junior B league that excludes First Nations.

All of the teams were part of the Keystone Junior Hockey League until May when five teams left to create the Capital Region League.

“White teams quietly got together and removed themselves leaving behind the First Nations teams,” lawyer Jamie Kagan told court.

The First Nations teams complained. A Hockey Manitoba tribunal ruled that former KJHL players would need a release to play in the new league and pay a $500 fee. The decision was to protect the KJHL from a mass exodus of players, which Kagan argued would spell the end of the league.

But that didn’t happen before the new league hit the ice in October.

The Peguis, Norway House Cree, Opaskwayak Cree, Fisher River Cree and Cross Lake First Nations filed a statement of claim in October against Hockey Manitoba, the Manitoba Amateur Hockey Association, the new league and the five teams in it.

Kagan is asking the judge for an injunction pending a trial. The injunction would expire at the end of the 2018-19 season.

READ MORE: Minor hockey investigates after N-word allegedly used on B.C. ice

READ MORE: FIFA to probe Russian racism against France players

Bill Bowles, a lawyer representing the Capital Region League, said if the injunction is granted, about 100 players in the new league won’t be able to play for the season because there isn’t space on KJHL teams and it’s unlikely new teams could be formed in time.

He told court the new league was created because of safety concerns about long drives on the highway. He said it had nothing to do with racism and cautioned Kagan against making that suggestion.

The First Nations could appeal the decision through Hockey Manitoba and the court does not need to have a role in “shutting down a hockey league,” Bowles added.

“They are asking you to stop 100 kids from playing hockey.”

The judge is to deliver a decision on the injunction on Friday.

Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Monday rings in partial return of school across Saanich Peninsula

Saanich School District reopening of schools comes with revised health measures

B.C. Conservation kills bear in Langford amid growing problem of habituation

Officer demands garbage lockdown for residents in bear territory

Killing of Discovery Island wolf was legal, says BC Conservation Service

Takaya was shot and killed by hunters on March 24

Police enforce school zone speed limits as Greater Victoria students return to class

Saanich police on the lookout for speeders outside Glanford Middle School

Anti-racism rally takes to the streets of downtown Victoria

Vigil for George Floyd planned at B.C. Legislature for 7 p.m.

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

COVID-19 birthday drive-by celebrations snuffed out in Island community

Bylaw officer visit with threats of a fine mean parade trucks taken off the road

Vancouver Island Regional Libraries to offer ‘takeout’ style services

VIRL will offer the service on a branch-by-branch basis

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

B.C. Hockey League prepping for 2020-21

League reviewing different scenarios and start times in compliance with provincial regulations

Duncan’s Queen Margaret’s School pioneers thermal imaging in school reopening

Private school is first in B.C. to use new tech post-COVID-19

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Most Read