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Anne Photograp News 2024

Cup Outlook 2024 |  May 8, 2024
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Cup Outlook 2024 | May 8, 2024

Familiarity is a major theme when watching Team Alberta’s female roster at the 2024 National Aboriginal Hockey Championship this week (May 6-11) in Grande Prairie.

Of the 22 members on the Team Alberta roster, ten were part of the team that took home the bronze medal last year. Two of the 10 returnees are Tayla Lamabe and Dejah Howes, who both play on the same club team in Edmonton with the U18 AAA Jr. Oilers White.

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The duo recently helped Edmonton to a bronze medal at the 2024 Esso Cup and are looking forward to playing together again for Team Alberta.

“It’s great, Tayla is a teammate of mine in Edmonton and that team is so close and she’s probably one of the people on the team that I’m closest to,” Howes said. “Especially playing with her last year, I think we have that chemistry and I think we can show people what good team chemistry is.”

“I met her at the tournament last year,” Lamabe said. “She was there to support me and help me understand more about the tournament. Being able to play with her this year made us a lot closer. I look up to her like an older sister and I’m excited to start this experience to share with her again.”

The Aboriginal Sport Circle established the NAHC in 2002 to serve as the premiere league for young Indigenous hockey players in Canada. The annual event draws participation from First Nation, Inuit and Metis from across the 13 provinces and territories, helping to promote cultural unity and pride in celebrating the athletic skills of Indigenous players.

Hockey Alberta, in partnership with the Indigenous Sport Council of Alberta, coordinates the selection process for the players and coaches representing the province at the championships.

Lamabe, who is of Métis background, and Howes, who is Inuit, are both very proud of their heritage.

“I knew I was indigenous. I am Inuit, so I learned a lot from my parents, and my mother was the one who introduced me to trying out for this tournament,” Howes said. “But going through this tournament has shown me ways I can connect and learn more about myself and my culture. I just think that’s so cool, and I think it connects everyone on the team a lot. If we just have that in common, especially if other people are also learning about those things, we can do it together.

“Growing up in Peace River, I had many opportunities and many different ways to get involved in Aboriginal activities,” Lamabe added. “Last year I had the opportunity to make ribbon skirts and learn more about it. This tournament really gives Aboriginal athletes the opportunity to identify with that and I think that is super cool and interesting.”

The games will be played at the Design Works Center, home of the AJHL’s Grande Prairie Storm. Alberta has never won a gold medal at this event, but they will get a chance to appear in front of the home crowd.

“Oh, it would mean a lot to me, honestly, especially because of last year and how close we got. I think winning bronze was a step in the right direction, but being able to take home the gold is just the icing on the cake,” said Howes. “Last year I was playing on the team and I thought, ‘Okay, this is where we’re going to start and now we have to take it a step further.’ If I can be part of that group and be part of the team that ultimately does it, that would be great.”

All games are streamed on YouTube.

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The team’s full schedule can be found below:

Team Alberta Women’s NAHC schedule

6 May

Team Alberta vs. Team British Columbia

W (2-1)

May 7

Team Alberta vs. East Door & North

11:00 AM

May 7

Team Alberta vs. Team Manitoba

8:00 pm

May 8th

Team Alberta vs. Team Atlantic

11:15 am

The 9th of May

Female qualifying round

To be determined

May 10th

Women’s relegation games

To be determined

May 10th

Semi-finals

To be determined

11 May

Bronze medal game

1:00 pm

11 May

Gold Medal Game

19:00

Thank you to all of our NAHC Team Alberta team sponsors: