Vancouver Canucks celebrate First Nations Night

By Kelly Many Guns

This week the Vancouver Canucks celebrated the 4th Annual First Nations Night at the Rogers Arena when the Canucks hosted the St,Louis Blues. Although it was a close 4-3 loss to the Blues the night was a special evening highlighting the Orange Shirt Society and remembering the survivors of the residential school survivors and those who did not survive. 

The evening also honored Indigenous business and services in Vancouver and recognized the traditional territories of three Local First Nations: the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh. 

Performer included headliners The Halluci Nation (previously known as A Tribe Called Red), Michelle Heyoka, Coastal Wolf Pack, DJ Kookum, Faith Sparrow-Crawford (Musqueam) and Teshawna Sihata (Spuzzum)

Look for complete coverage in the upcoming April 2022 issue of First Nations Drum


The Many Guns Family including Jeannette Many Guns Centre

The recent grand opening of the new Many Guns Boxing and Fitness Centre on the Siksika First Nation marks the start of a journey toward a long- term goal of healing, connecting bodies and spirits, and promoting physical wellness.

After delays and the pandemic crises the opening of the Boxing and Fitness centre is a welcome relief for members of the Siksika Nation, just an hour southeast of Calgary.

Dr. Quintina Bearchief-Adolpho, mental health clinical team lead for Siksika Health Services, told the Calgary
Herald News that the facility will serve many purposes for the community, not the least of which is physical activity to promote positive mental health.

Clifford Many Gun

“Because of trauma, we have a lot of addictions in our community (and) we were trying to think of ways that would help our community in the long term,” she said. “There’s a lot of research around exercise and how it impacts mental health and how it impacts it positively.”

Bearchief-Adolpho said boxing in particular presents participants with an opportunity to “connect mind and heart.”

“This would allow a person to be able to understand their emotions, be able to express their emotions,” she said.

“They’re able to have cognitive flexibility, their executive functioning would increase and they’d be able to resolve issues that they might have been deal- ing with for a long time.”

In addition to dealing with the isolation of COVID-19 over the past year and a half, community members are also having to face the recent discov- eries of unmarked graves at former residential school sites across the coun- try, as well as the ongoing intergenerational trauma caused by that school system.

“We’re hoping people will be able to utilize the gym as an outlet to provide more of a healthy kind of intervention, versus self medicating,” she said. “We hope that this will help individuals be able to overcome some of their challenges that they’re facing with issues stemming from COVID and every- thing surrounding the (residential school) issues.”

Bearchief-Adolpho also wanted to name the centre after the late Clifford Many Guns because of how he helped the youth of the reserve and was the leading force for the boxing on the Siksika Nation for many decades
The centre’s therapeutic physical trainer, Manny Yellow Fly, said the gym’s namesake, the late Clifford Many Guns, will serve as an inspiration for staff and clients.

Yellow Fly said although Clifford was a guy who influenced boxing and promoted it, he was also a guy that played pretty much every sport.

“He coached a lot of sports and brought a lot of good values to the commu- nity and I hope to use Many Guns’ mentality especially to have a positive effect on the Nation’s youth,” Yellow Fly added, “I can incorporate the boxing mentality, the val- ues and characteristics that come with boxing, like perseverance, (positive) attitudes, hard work . . . and kind of blend them together.”

In addition to camps and other programming specifically for youth there will also be opportu- nities for elders to take part in various activities. Yoga, CrossFit and other fitness classes will be incorporated into the centre in the future.

Jeannette Many Guns, the youngest daughter of Clifford said, “It’s the right time by naming the sports and fitness centre after her father.

“We the Many Guns family are all very proud, honoured, and very thankful to have the boxing and fitness centre named after our Dad. It is with great comfort to know that his legacy will continue,” said Many Guns. “My dad would have continued training boxers from the reserve, he wanted the best to succeed. There are a lot of gifted athletes on the reserve that can be world champions.”

Many Guns said she was glad to see a good turn out at the grand opening

“It is a part of his legacy he would want to continue. He saw that fitness and health was important and that it can continue through this new centre. My Dad had many talents and through his “Go to attitude” to get things done will continue on through the art of boxing.”

With the official opening of the centre, Bearchief-Adolpho said opportuni- ties for healing and for community members to get a better handle on their health, both mental and physical, are plentiful.

“If we can heal the physical self then we’re able to discover the underlying issues, mental-health issues that are occurring . . . I have a lot of hope that this can have a positive impact in our community.”

Native Chuckwagon Racers Shine at Calgary Stampede

Todd Baptiste

Due to the rule setting 65 years old as the mandatory retirement age for Chuckwagon racers, the first day of the Rangeland Derby marked Ray Mitsuing’s final appearance at the Calgary Stampede. Rules are rules. 

Ray drew the number four barrel and had a bit of a dual with fellow native Todd Baptiste on the backstretch. Ray couldn’t get the rail and Baptiste overtook him and the leader on his way to winning the 8th heat of opening day. 

Todd Baptiste’s rising up and out from within the shadow of one the game’s best racers is symbolic. Mitsuing has been in the Rangeland Derby for as long as I remember and has always been one of the top racers at the Calgary Stampede. To see him do so well at his final meet was inspiring. 

Paired with Baptiste in the 8th heat for the first four days, Ray eventually avenged his loss, but penalties knocked him down to the 6th race and it’s an uphill battle when seconds get added to your overall time.

On the other hand, Todd Baptiste was near the top of the standings throughout the ten days and stood at 2nd place on day nine. I wished him good luck before his first race and then watched him win after overtaking Mitsuing and Logan Gorst on the final stretch. After that race, I mentioned to him that his Uncle Edgar Baptiste won the Rangeland Derby in 1996 by going penalty free. “That’s what we wanna’ do,” said Baptiste, a very-focused man of few words.

Ray Mitsuing was able to win some heats. He put in a good showing for his final Rangeland Derby by managing to stay away from the tragic mishaps marring an otherwise exciting week of racing where four incidents cost the lives of six horses. I witnessed the first accident, which occurred as the horses came around the first turn. One horse fell and was dragged a few yards by the rest of the team only a few feet from where I stood. I knew something was wrong because the horses just came to a complete stop. None of them moved as they waited silently for help to arrive. 

The response from animal rights groups with their calls to abolish the sport was immediate and grew louder with each additional equine fatality. The horse-owners and families involved were sad to see the accidents. They say Chuckwagon racing is a sport with horses that are built for speed doing what they’re born to do, just like the horses in the thoroughbred racing world. 

Chuckwagon racing has become relatively safer with the changes made to the way the wagons are constructed. Abolishing these events would drive them underground and leave them without any oversight. Safety measures taken by the professional Chuckwagon organizations would most likely be ignored. Either way, this form of racing is a way of life. Horse owners take great care ensuring the safety of their team and they feel the loss personally when tragic accidents happen to one of their animals.

These horse deaths shouldn’t take away from the amazing week Mitsuing and Baptiste had by driving their wagons with precision, speed, and love for their sport. Ray Mitsuing did very well, and Todd Baptiste has a bright future in Chuckwagon racing. He may very well surpass his uncle if he keeps improving, but this year he had to settle for 2nd place overall. Just like his Uncle Edgar, Baptiste drew the third barrel in the final heat but had a late charge. The eventual winner, Logan Gorst, was just a little faster all week. 

All in all, the week was good for us natives by our having these two drivers in the thick of things. As Ray Mitsuing bid his final farewell to the crowd, the stampede paid tribute and honored him by playing the “Happy Trails” chorus on the loud speakers. Farewell Brother.

Indian Relay Catching on with Racing Fans

Indian Relay Races have been held south of the border for as long as anyone can remember. Some say the concept started over 500 years ago with the Bannock-Shoshone Tribes in what is now the Southern U.S. States as a way to quickly spread word that an enemy was approaching. 

It became popular at rodeo events in the past but got forgotten for a time until it caught on again in the U.S. in the 70s when it was as an added event designed to put more bums in the seats. It has been successful at that so far. Indian Relay Racing has become such a popular event in Canada that it has been added to the Calgary Stampede’s Rangeland Derby. 

Audiences get pumped up watching our Native brothers ride bareback like the wind and not fall off the horse – most of the time. The race starts with riders mounted on thoroughbred horses that are painted like war horses of the past when going into battle. When the horn blares, they’re off and running. 

The jockey or “warrior” rides the horse for one lap and then leaps off. The “catcher” or “mugger” grabs that horse as the jockey jumps on a different horse that’s being held by the “holder,” and then takes off for another round. This is repeated three times. Due to the sport’s chaotic nature, the field is usually whittled down by a couple of racers in some unfortunate situation that’s hopefully not too painful. 

Siksika’s Blackfoot Warrior Party Horsemanship Film Society is led by Lavina Many Guns. She’s hosted meets at the Strathmore Rodeo grounds for the past seven years as part of a Canada Day event. Judging by the increasing number of fans, the sport is having some success at attracting locals and out-of-towners. 

This year’s happening was another well attended affair. Eight teams competed in three heats over two days of competition. The first day went well with the weather cooperating. Sunday started off sunny with clear skies that lasted until the Lady Warrior Race was finished. Then the wind and rain practically cleared the bleachers just as the Indian Relay Races were about to begin. 

But these are tough, prairie country folks, so the show went on with the Pretty Young Man racing team coming out on top in the relay event’s final race. Special guest Eugene Brave Rock, who played the Chief in the movie Wonder Woman, dressed in warrior regalia for Sunday’s finals. 

The Calgary Stampede hosted the Indian Relay Races for five days after the 9th heat of the Rangeland Derby. The Grandstand show followed the Chuckwagon races, which normally is the time when the crowd takes a bathroom break or goes to get another brewsky. With the Indian Relay Races about to begin, not many people left their seats as the event proved to be too good to miss. 

The warriors had one heat each night to entertain the crowd and ride for day money. The first night’s race was won by Team Old Sun from Siksika Nation, but not without some wild exchanges due to the switching area being too small for the transfer of horses. Monday’s race was won by Team Anatapsi – “cutie” in Siksika language – from the Piikuni Nation in Southern Alberta. I was not able to make it for Tuesday’s performance. Wednesday’s race was won by Young Money. In Thursday’s finals, Siksika’s Team Old Sun, jockeyed by Cody Big Tobacco, led for the final two laps. Despite a late charge by Thunder Beings and Young Money, Cody managed to hang on and win for Team Old Sun by about four horse lengths.

Tyrone Potts of Piikuni is the organiser for the stampede races and was very happy with the team’s performances. Asked if the Indian Relay Races could be expanded to two or three events, Potts said he was hopeful. Though the stampede is already quite a large event, the more exposure Indian Relay Races gets, the better. 

Interest is growing in attending Indian Relay Racing as a stand-alone event. Beside the Strathmore and Calgary events, a meet was organised by June Many Grey Horses and held in Lethbridge on July 16 and 17. Dexter Bruised Head of the Canadian Indian Relay Racing Association produced meets in Maple Creek Saskatchewan on July 18, and Kainai held a two-day event on July 20 and 21. The finals will be held at the Century Downs Race track in Calgary over Labour Day weekend. Hosted by the Canadian Indian Relay Racing Association (CIRRA), it should be a good indicator of the interest level from non-Native racing fans. 

If the sport can survive for approximately the past 80 years in the U.S. and then move north of the border, it has potential to become mainstream in the near future. This should be welcomed good news to the young people of Turtle Island because it give us pride in an event that could be a unifying force amongst our Indigenous communities. Teams that competed in Strathmore and Calgary included names like Morning Rider, Running Wolf, Little Buffalo Stone, Young Money, Sioux Foot, Anatapsi, Thunder Beings, Pretty Young Man Racing, and Team Old Sun. 

I asked riders what motivates them to participate in such a dangerous sport, and they said the sport makes them feel proud of who they are and it is another opportunity to help steer our young people in a positive direction – something that has been missing in our communities for far too long. Horse culture was introduced by Europeans. It is one aspect of European culture that Natives quickly became equal or better at, and that’s something that can never be taken away from us. 

Going from ‘Not Welcome’ to ‘You’re Invited’

Sisters Roberta Edzerza, left, and Judy Carlick-Pearson, right

Some people don’t know how to take “no” for an answer. Roberta Edzerza is one of them. Thankfully. As a member of the Metlakatla Trojans men’s team, Edzerza was the only female player competing in the 1992 All Native Basketball Tournament (ANBT). This because there was no women’s division. Yet.

Thirty-three years of tournament play excluding female teams from competing ended the next year. “I was on the floor representing,” Edzerza said. “I knew this was going to make some changes.”

What changed? Roberta Edzerza helped shift the perception toward female players, according to ANBT Chair Peter Haugan, who said, “The [Tournament] committee could see that the ladies could play the game.” Twenty-seven years after Edzerza’s historic debut, 14 women’s teams are competing at the 60th Annual Prince Rupert ANBT, which is an important cultural event for regional indigenous peoples and attracts thousands of spectators from across the province.

The first year women competed, Edzerza’s Vancouver team lost in the 1993 finals to her younger sister’s team from Kaien Island. “My sister was actually more excited for [our] win than we were.” said Judy Carlick-Pearson, the inaugural women’s tournament MVP. Carlick-Pearson has been named finals MVP five times.

Edzerza’s inspirational lineage extends to today’s youngest ANBT women players. Adelia Paul became a two-time ANBT champion playing with the Haisla Sr. Ladies team out of Kitamaat Village, and she remembers watching the tournament as a child and wanting to play basketball at that level when she grew up. “I just remember being one of the kids on the sidelines just idolizing some of the players,” said Paul.

Paul has become the role model to today’s girls the same way as Edzerza’s generation was to hers. Today she coaches a U-17 team and at basketball camps. “There’s actually girls on my team that I’m playing against in this tournament,” she said. “It’s pretty cool to see that.”

More than two decades after breaking the gender barrier, Edzerza and her sister Judy Carlick-Pearson are members of the Prince Rubber Rain. Carlick-Pearson is grateful for her sister’s not taking “no” for an answer by competing on a men’s squad to prove ladies have game no different from the boys, and for proving that there was no good reason not to expand ANBT to invite women’s teams too. “It had a big impact on my life when Roberta actually initiated that women should play,” Carlick-Pearson said. “She was the first person to actually make that happen for all of us.”

As Prince Rubber Rain’s starring forward, Edzerza’s dedication and professionalism sets a fine example for her younger teammates to emulate. “It used to be about myself years ago, but now I’m playing for other young girls,” said Edzerza.

BC Sports Hall of Fame Set to Unveil Indigenous Sport Gallery

The BC Sports Hall of Fame newest exhibit will recognize Indigenous athletes who have made an impact on British Columbia’s sport history

On September 25th, the BC Sports Hall of Fame will unveil an exhibit celebrating and recognizing Indigenous athletes who have made an impact on British Columbia’s sport history.

The Indigenous Sport Gallery celebrates the rich history and many contributions to sport by First Nations and Métis athletes, teams, coaches, builders and volunteers in BC, and attempts to remedy the fact that Indigenous athletes and teams have not been properly celebrated and honoured over the course of our province’s history.

Jim Lightbody, Chair of the BC Sports Hall of Fame, says the sport in the Indigenous communities has forever been intertwined.

“The new Indigenous Sport Gallery at the BC Sports Hall of Fame is another step towards celebrating the Indigenous athletes, coaches and builders who have made positive impacts on sport in BC and will educate future generations of these important accomplishments – both in our province and on the world stage.”

Released after a five-year cross-Canada consultation process, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) issued 94 Calls to Action in order to “redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation.” Call to Action #87, calls upon all levels of government, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, sports halls of fame, and other relevant organizations, to provide public education that tells the national story of Aboriginal athletes in history. Together with its partners, the BC Sports Hall of Fame advances this Call through the new Indigenous Sport Gallery.

The Indigenous Sport Gallery will feature over 1,000 square feet of permanent exhibit space, including: information about traditional Indigenous games; artefacts and memorabilia from Indigenous athletes in all levels of sport; a feature on the North American Indigenous Games; and a dedicated space, the Circle of Champions, which honours the Indigenous athletes that have been formally Inducted to the BC Sports Hall of Fame.

Lara Mussell Savage, Director of Sport for the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation Council (I·SPARC) and a Trustee of the BC Sports Hall of Fame, says the Indigenous communities of BC have had a massive impact on sport in our province, and it is great to see the BC Sports Hall of Fame and its partner organizations recognize this through the creation of a new Indigenous Sport Gallery.

“We hope the Gallery will inspire the next generation of Indigenous athletes and teach all British Columbians about the incredible stories of Indigenous athletes and leaders.”

The Indigenous Sport Gallery Exhibit is open to the public beginning, September 26, 2018 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm daily.  The location: BC Sports Hall of Fame is at Gate A at BC Place. For more information about the BC Sports Hall of Fame, please visit:

First Nation Hockey Player Ethan Bear Makes the Big Leagues

First Nation Hockey Player Ethan Bear Makes the Big Leagues

Edmonton Oilers Recall Bear While Skating for AHL’s Bakersfield Condors

It was inevitable that Ethan Bear would be dressing to play with the Edmonton Oilers sooner than expected.

The Oilers 2015 draft pick played with the Western Hockey League’s (WHL), 2017 champion Seattle Thunderbirds where he earned the honor of being named the WHL 2017 top defensive player.

The WHL is the highest level of junior hockey in Canada. The league has 22 teams spanning Western Canada and the Northwest U.S.

Drafted in the fifth round and 124th overall, the 20-year-old, 5’11” 209-pound, rookie defenceman from the Ochapowace First Nation played his first National Hockey League game as an Edmonton Oiler on March 1st.  

Though the contest ended in a 4-2 loss against the Nashville Predators, Bear said suiting up as a NHL player was a dream come true.

“I love the game. It’s pretty amazing and the intensity, speed and playing with Edmonton, things could not be better,” said Bear.

The Edmonton Oilers recalled Bear from the American Hockey League (AHL), where he was playing in Southern California for Bakersfield Condors where he had 16 points (6G, 10A) and 12 penalty minutes in 34 games. The AHL is the NHL’s primary developmental league.

Bear played for Canada’s National Under-18 program twice, winning gold at the 2014 Hlinka Memorial and a bronze medal at the 2015 World U18 Men’s Hockey Championship in Switzerland.

Growing up, Bear never had a favourite team, but his favourite players were Jordin Tootoo, and Shane Webber.

“I never really had a favourite team, I just really followed hockey a lot, and played and loved the game, but I always rooted for the Canadian NHL teams, and Team Canada,” said Bear.

Bear faced the same challenges as all players who came before him when he began playing in the juniors. Among the greatest were being away from home at a young age and making the right choices.

“Making those sacrifices and learning to take care of your body, and learning to be a pro before you’re a pro,” Bear added to the list of challenges.

Bear said noticing other native players in the junior ranks was nice to see knowing Aboriginal players were a good thing for native people and their communities.

Family support is something Bear does not take for granted and knows it will be important through what he hopes will be a long NHL career.

In his first game as an Oiler, dozens of family, friends and supporters made the nine hour trip from his Saskatchewan home community and the Ochapowace First Nation.

Bear said giving back is something he strongly believes in. Each summer he runs a hockey camp back in his community – a camp for everyone.

“The hockey camp is for younger kids, and I approach it how I wanted to be taught when I was a kid,” said Bear. “It is all a part of giving back, and hope we can inspire future hockey NHL players.”

Bear said he feels comfortable as the newest Edmonton Oiler. “Just getting in, moving it and getting in your groove. You start to make plays and playing faster. It’s a simple game. You play simple, move it quick,” Bear said. “Offence will come. I still have a lot to learn defensively but they’ve been patient with me so I appreciate it.”

Through eight games, Bear has two assists and has been near the 20-minute mark in three of his last four contests.

In his last few games he’s been paired with defenseman Oscar Klefbom, a partnership Bear feels is working well.

“He’s always in the right spots,” said Bear. “Everyone’s always an option for you and talking to you on the ice. That makes a big difference, knowing where all your teammates are on the ice. They’re always talking and telling you your offence, calling out plays.”

Perhaps the first aspect of Bear’s game to rise to this level of professional play has been his passing, which is something Head Coach Todd McLellan has spoken about.

His teammates are also starting to realize there’s some potential with the 20-year-old.

“Very mobile, good skater,” said fellow defenceman, Klefbom. “I like playing with him. He’s going to be a very good defenceman, Obviously, it takes a while to get into the League and know what it’s all about. I remember when I came into the League and played an easy game and built that confidence to do something good with the puck. He’s definitely off to a good start here.”

Bear is a right-shot, offensively inclined defenceman, which is something the Oilers would like to add to their special teams arsenal.

Following practice before the team hit the road for Cowtown (Calgary), a local Edmonton reporter asked Bear about his participating in Battle of Alberta against the Calgary Flames for the first time.

A big smile came across his face and Bear showed excitement over his upcoming, first-ever experience.

“It’s a very intense rivalry, so I’m looking very forward to it,” Bear said. “Everybody always wants to beat Calgary, right?”

Growing up in Ochapowace, Saskatchewan Bear watched plenty of Battle of Alberta games and has a built-in understanding of what it means when orange and blue clashes with red and yellow.

“It’s a rivalry you want to be a part of and know how to get up for,” he said. “They’re pretty intense games, so I want to go out there and play hard.”

Edmonton head coach Todd McLellan said Bear is very optimistic about getting to play in Battle of Alberta after only a few games in the league.

“He’s getting there,” said Head Coach Todd McLellan. “He’s certainly not hurting us a lot, but there are segments of his game he knows he has to work on. He’s a very fast learner, he’s willing to learn, he’s got a high IQ and he picks things up quickly, so we think he can continue to improve.”

First Nation Hockey Player Ethan Bear Makes the Big Leagues


First Lady Hoop Dancing Championships

This past August 26th, the Intermountain All-Women Hoop Dancing Championships were held and the event was a huge success. The first competition of its kind, ever, included 42 dancers from the United States and Canada. The one-day event consisted of two rounds to determine the ladies hoop dancing champion.

(Right to left) Violet John of the Kehewin First Nation and Sandra Yellow Horn of the Piegan Nation

(Right to left) Violet John of the Kehewin First Nation and Sandra Yellow Horn of the Piegan Nation


Sandra Yellow Horn of the Peigan Nation won first place at the inaugural competition, while Violet John of the Kehewin First Nation took the runner-up trophy. The event was held at “This is The Place Heritage Park” in Salt Lake City, Utah,

I had a chance to ask Violet John, former Miss Indian World 2006, about the competition and her thoughts on hoop dancing. John said she was happy to see this competition take place because it will draw attention to women in hoop dancing.

Violet John prepares her daughter for competition

Violet John prepares her daughter for competition

“It’s very rare to see female hoop dancers and to have this first ladies hoop dancing competition is so good for the women and young girls to get involved in this beautiful dance,” said Violet. “Three of my daughters are hoop dancers and this event will only encourage them and other young girls to start dancing in the future. It was so nice to travel to Salt Lake City and compete here.”

Hoop dancing has a long-standing tradition. This unique dance can involve the use of more than 50 hoops. Hoop dancing communicates individual and tribal stories using hoops to create symbols and depict animals or other life found in nature. The continuous circle of the hoops symbolizes the circle of life and change of seasons.

It is not clear which tribe founded traditional hoop dancing because many tribes have a history of the practice in various ceremonies. Traditional hoops were made from wood of a willow tree, whereas modern-day hoops are made from reed and plastic because of the durability of the material when travelling.

The hoops are then decorated with tape and paint to symbolize the changing colours of each season. Traditional hoops are still used on rare occasions. Native hoop dancing is traditionally a male-only dance, but over the past few decades women have picked up the dance. In 1994, Jackie Bird from South Dakota became the first woman to compete in the World Championship Hoop Dance Contest.

Future Hoop Dancing Champion

Future Hoop Dancing Champion


Saanii Atsitty, the Intermountain All-Women Hoop Dancing Championships organizer says judges are looking at precision, timing, rhythm, craftsmanship, creativity and originality. For the ladies’ competition judges also look at grace and elegance. The two rounds of competition for the ladies consisted of 5 minutes and 7 minutes in the final round dancing to Northern Drum, White Bull, and Southern Drum, Southern Soul Singers.

“I think the first go-round went well and created great interest and excitement,” said Atsitty, organizer of the hoop dancing competition. “We are glad to create a space and platform for these beautiful women and girls to showcase their dancing. We are looking forward to the 2nd Annual next year.”

Maori All Blacks to Invade BC Place Stadium, Play Against Host Team Canada


The Maori All Blacks is one of the most successful sporting team in any sport. The New Zealander rugby team has a winning percentage higher than the likes of Manchester United and Golden State Warriors.

On August 10, Rugby Canada and the New Zealand Rugby Union announced they will host the second ever Senior Men’s Fifteen match at BC Place with Canada taking on the world-famous Maori All Blacks.

Presented by AIG, as both teams prepare for their respective November Internationals in Europe, the All Blacks will play the Canadian men’s rugby team at Vancouver’s BC Place Stadium on November 3.

In the past four years, ten of the Maori All Black players progressed to play for the New Zealand national team – winners of the last two Rugby World Cups – while 18 have “bounced” between the two teams at various times. Twenty countries compete in the Rugby World Cup tournament, which is one of the world’s biggest sporting event outside of North America.

The All Blacks have been a YouTube sensation with their “Haka” traditional war dance – a fierce display of a tribe’s pride, strength and unity. Before every game, the All Blacks perform the traditional Maori war dance the New Zealand natives used before going into battle. The dance is also used as a form of respect when groups come together in peace.

The All Blacks have defeated teams with players from different nations – international opponents – including the British & Irish Lions, a team with players from England and Ireland.

Look forward to our next issue when we speak to representatives of both the All Blacks and the Canadian Men’s Rugby teams.