Lil’ Bands Video for North initiative showcasing talents of First Nations children, youth
Mike Lawrence - Staff Writer
The Lil’ Bands Hockey Tournament is back, with a twist. With current COVID restrictions preventing the Lil’ Bands Hockey Tournament from taking place in its regular format for the second consecutive year, the organizers behind the tournament have partnered with Tikinagan Child and Family Services and the Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority to create a social media submission contest campaign.
A Jan. 10 media release on Tikinagan’s website reads, “Young hockey players from Tikinagan’s 30 First Nations are invited to film and submit short video clips that will be edited into a full YouTube compilation video that will be released in February. Each video submitted and used in the video will score each child or youth a $25 gift card, plus a chance at the grand prize of a customized hockey gear set.”
The release goes on to add, “Videos can be anything creative, ranging from stick handling skills, a hockey shot, how they tape their stick, their jersey, arena, a video selfie, a TikTok dance with your team on the ice, or an explanation why they love playing hockey.”
The hope is that the campaign will provide a creative outlet for the youth and their families who have been disappointed by the tournament’s cancelation.
Ziggy Beardy, Tournament Committee Member, commented in the release, “We miss the excitement, the games, the kids, families, everyone who takes part in it. The best part of the tournament is to see the kids happy and enjoying the event and their peers and to see families and parents enjoying their family times together. This video contest is another way we can achieve that goal.”
Beardy went on to add, “(The Tournament) means the world to the young people. You usually see their excitement on social media as the tournament draws near. Families make it a point to be with their children and youth. It strengthens their family bonds and the kids appreciate their family members cheering them on.”
“This will be one way we can all work together to help raise our children by encouraging them to showcase their amazing talents,” said Thelma Morris, Tikinagan Executive Director. “Lil’ Bands has always been a resource in supporting the hard work of children and youth, which is only made possible by the encouragement and dedication of our families and communities.”
“In many First Nation communities who participate in the tournament, hockey is a connecting point for many children and youth,” concluded Beardy. “Communities work hard in the winter months to maintain an arena -- some even outdoor -- to provide a resource in their community. As well, the sport itself teaches many positive life lessons. We hope this video can be an outlet for that skill and creativity.”
Submissions to the Video for the North campaign can be submitted by families and youth online at www.tikinagan.org/lilbands. The contest closes January 31.