First Nations hockey team subjected to racist chants at youth tournament
Published Friday, June 1, 2018 1:30PM EDT
A team of First Nations hockey players was the victim of racist chants while competing in a Quebec City youth tournament last week.
Video has emerged of the First Nation Elites Bantam AAA being subjected to racist comments from the opposing team and those in the stands of the Coupe Challenge Quebec AAA tournament, held from May 25-27.
Toward the end of the 43-minute video, someone in the stands can be heard yelling “Gang de sauvages” or “Gang of savages.”
The team comprises of First Nations hockey players aged 13-15 from Quebec, Ontario and Nova Scotia.
Tommy Neeposh, the team manager who filmed the video, told CTV Montreal the team was subject to plenty other racist remarks and gestures over the course of the tournament.
“The war cries (were) the worst,” he said. “(They were) telling our boys that you guys don't belong, your team sucks, Native kids can't play hockey, they can't skate.”
Neeposh said as soon as his team arrived for the tournament, they felt like they were being stared at.
He says the team spoke with both the referees and the host team, the Quebec Bulldogs, but nothing was done. Neeposh has filed a complaint with the tournament organizers.
The Bulldogs have not yet responded to a request for comment from CTV Montreal.
Hockey Quebec said the tournament was not under its jurisdiction. If it had been, they would have investigated and sanctioned any team involved.
Geoffrey Kelley, Quebec’s minister responsible for Native affairs, said in a tweet the actions seen in the video are “unacceptable.”
“The (Government of Quebec) vehemently denounces these events,” he wrote. “We have adopted a wide range of measures in our efforts to eradicate prejudice about Indigenous peoples. This work will continue.”
With a report from CTV Montreal’s Cindy Sherwin
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