By Submitted Article on November 19, 2019.
By Mervin Chief Calf
In a time when the Kainai First Nation is going through a drug crisis that looms over the reserve like a dark cloud, hope has emerged from a group of young girls. Coaches Robbie Rabbit and Shelby Wells have taken the helm of a group of young girls aged 13 and 14. These girls are the first bantam girls team for the Cardston Thunder, and also the Thunder’s first bantam girls all-native team.
Coach Rabbit explained if the girls weren’t playing for this team they would end up playing for teams out of their zone. Some were involved with ringette teams, and some had been inactive in hockey for a few years,
Rabbit took it upon herself to get the girls together to form the team. The squad is a work in progress and Rabbit hopes to have these same girls for the next four years. They have been playing teams that are more established and seasoned, but the Cardston Thunder girls never give up. While the girls have had to endure racial taunts from opposing parents, they have also been praised by appreciative opposing parents for the girls’ work ethic.
The Cardston Thunder bantam girls have shown us on the reserve that we shouldn’t lose hope in the face of adversity of all types. The girls face adversity on the ice but they never give up. We need to take a lesson from these young girls and remind ourselves that we have it in us to face whatever it is that’s standing in our way.
When they get on the ice, the girls, for three periods, can forget about any troubles that loom over the reserve. They can compete against their peers and have fun and at the same time build a camaraderie knowing they are making history as the first all-native bantam girls team in Cardston.