For the first time in Canadian Olympic history, a First Nations woman will be on the roster of Canada’s Olympic Hockey Team. Brigette Lacquette, 25, is a member of the Cote First Nation in Saskatchewan.
“To represent Canada being the first First Nation is such an honor to me,” said Brigette Lacquette, in a CBC news article by Brad Bellegarde. According to the article, Lacquette says watching Nunavut’s Jordin Tootoo play for Team Canada in the 2003 World Junior Championships was her inspiration.
Though she will be playing defense for the Canadian women’s Olympic team in Pyeongchang, Lacquette has previously represented her country in the 2015 IIHF women’s world championships.
Lacquette started playing when she was five years old and grew up in the rural community of Mallard Manitoba. She says her father was her greatest motivator. “I spent a lot of time on the outdoor rink with my dad,” she said to the CBC.
Lacquette’s family history of the Cote First Nation has strong ties to the Saskatchewan’s First Nations sports world. Lacquette told the CBC, one of her great sports memories was playing in the Saskatchewan First Nations Winter Games with the Yorkton Tribal Council.
“My late grandpa was there watching. It was always nice to have him support me. He would always make it out. I know that weekend my parents couldn’t make it so my grandpa [did,]” Lacquette told the CBC.
“Just having him there and watching the games, and spending time with him that was one of my memories.”
Lacquette expressed excitement in a tweet after the announcement last month, “Words can’t describe this feeling… So humbled and honored to represent this amazing country.”
In addition to her time on the ice, Lacquette also serves as a role model for a kids. As an athlete with Classroom Champions www.classroomchampions.org, Lacquette participates in the charitable organization’s year-long program connecting kids in Canada and athletes who share an Indigenous heritage.
Lacquette told the Calgary Herald, “I want to be the role model for them, just be the best player, the best person I can possibly be.”