Canada Congratulates Little Native Hockey League on its 47th Annual Tournament

News release

March 11, 2018 - Mississauga, ON - Indigenous Services Canada

The Government of Canada understands the important role that cultural and recreational activities play in improving the social fabric of First Nations communities.

Today, Don Rusnak, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services, is pleased to attend the opening ceremonies of the Little Native Hockey League tournament in Mississauga.

Hosted by Moose Cree First Nation – and involving 210 teams and approximately 3,000 Indigenous youth participants – this five-day tournament brings together First Nations players, families and fans from across Ontario.


“Congratulations to the event organizers and everyone involved in making this year’s Little NHL tournament such a success. For 47 years you’ve brought First Nations youth together from across Ontario through the power of sport, and you’ve helped them develop skills to prepare them for their future. Good luck to all players and teams!”

Don Rusnak, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Rainy River
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services

“It is fantastic to see this tournament bring teams from First Nation communities from across Ontario for its 47th year. I know that the respect, perseverance and discipline needed on the ice are the same qualities that these youth will draw on as they grow to become leaders in society, and the friendships and traditions they enjoy here will last them a lifetime. A big thank you and congratulations to this year’s host, Moose Cree First Nation, and everyone involved for your time and hard work.”

The Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Indigenous Services

Quick facts

  • Indigenous Services Canada provided $50,000 to support First Nation youth, family, and team staff to travel to the tournament. The Department also engaged the Hockey Hall of Fame, who provided admission passes to many of the athletes attending the tournament.

  • The first LNHL tournament took place in 1971 with 17 teams and 200 players in Little Current, Ontario. Today, the tournament has grown to over 170 teams and over 2,500 players.

  • The LNHL tournament for First Nation youth was established in the spirit of four pillars: education, citizenship, sportsmanship and respect.

Associated links


Andrew MacKendrick
Office of the Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Indigenous Services

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada

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