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The MKO Cup is an opportunity for athletes from Manitoba’s northern Indigenous communities to compete in hockey, volleyball and basketball, and to be reminded of the holistic benefits of sports. Community members can enjoy the tournaments as spectators, coming together again for fellowship.
This five-day event is brought to you by Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak and Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation.
Why should my community, leadership, and citizens, attend?
For many First Nations, COVID-19 has slowed progress. In particular, our young people have struggled, with alarming suicide rates and troubling mental wellness issues.
Sports have always been beneficial for body, mind and spirit. This gathering will be a wonderful signal for our young people to look to the future with optimism. A multi-community athletic event is a return to normalcy and a celebration of what’s to come.
While our athletes and spectators enjoy sports others can watch or take part in other events. A proposed agenda includes discussions from the NCN youth portfolio, social services, sports facilitators, and education directors. Social activities to round out the event include a gala evening, youth dance, monster bingo, family games night, and more.
Will the MKO Cup Event continue into the future?
While this year’s event will focus on “Celebrating the Return of Athletics”, organizers see great potential in making this an annual event hosted by a different MKO community every year.
So many struggles of young people, including mental wellness, bullying, suicide, cultural awareness, and sense of identity, can be dealt with through the lens of sports and gatherings, which is what organizers believe to be the first and best path to recovery. They also see the potential of future ventures into academics, arts and music.
Each Nation and its young people face similar challenges, and by gathering to share resources, each community will progress more efficiently, and life for all First Nations youth will be improved.
April 27 to May 1, 2022
Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation (Nelson House, MB)
*COVID-19 public health regulations will be followed.
For more information and to get involved, please contact:
- Ted Bland
- Curtis Lobster