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Mushkegowuk Cup in Timmins brings in hundreds of players for three-day hockey tournament


Approximately 750 hockey players, ages five to twenty-one, representing 16 First Nations communities from the James Bay Coast in northwestern Ontario to the Val-d'Or-area are in Timmins to celebrate their love of hockey.

"We’re definitely at least close to 2,500 people in total that come to the city," said Doug Cheechoo, chairman of Mushkegowuk Cup minor hockey.

"We fill all the hotels ... we keep this place busy ... and we shop. Whether it’s skidoos, vehicles, groceries we shop.”

The tournament began Friday and ends Sunday. This is the first time these communities have come together like this since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Organizers said getting it going again came with challenges, but said it's an exciting time for the players, coaches and families to get together and see one another again.

“It brings us together you know because we live in isolated First Nations that’s not accessible by road in the summer,” said Cheechoo.

“Only fly-in during the summer and spring so the winter road kinda connects us in the winter.”

This weekend is not just for the hockey players, it's also something their parents and grandparent enjoy, especially to see their young ones having fun.

Randal Courchene travelled from the Pic River First Nation to watch his son play for the Longlake 58 Generals this weekend.

“The friendship that is built, the camaraderie that goes a long in the young generation nowadays. It’s all about that," said Courchene.

Noreen Agnew from Long Lake 58 First Nation said she's cheering for the three teams from her community.

“It’s important for our kids to come together," said Agnew.

"We have different communities and playing and getting along, doing something productive, energetic and yeah something positive definitely.”

While hockey is played in the First Nations communities, the facilities needed to host a program like the one for the Mushkegowuk Cup do not exist. The McInyre Community Centre, the Mountjoy and Whitney Areas and the Archie Dillon Sportsplex in Timmins are all booked up for this event.

To stay up to date with the tournament’s games, visit their Facebook page.


A previous edition of the article listed that approximetely 75 players were participating in the tournment instead of 750. Top Stories

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