The University of Winnipeg and Wesmen Athletics are pleased to once again host a night celebrating the Indigenous people and culture that contribute to our campus and teams.
In conjunction with the U of W Aboriginal Students Council and Anishinabe Pride Basketball, the fourth annual Indigenous Night will take place Friday for the Wesmen basketball games against the Thompson Rivers Wolfpack.
A blessing will take place at 5 p.m. at the Duckworth Centre with the women's team tipping off at 6 p.m. and the men tipping at 8 p.m. Elder Wally Chartrand will lead the smudge ceremony.
A traditional round dance will take place at halftime of both games with Jonathan Anderson leading the performance.
"Indigenous Night has become an important date on the Wesmen Athletics calendar and we are excited to once again celebrate and honour our connections to the Indigenous people and community," U of W director of athletics Dave Crook said. "We are proud to partner with the likes of the Aboriginal Students Council and Pride Basketball, both groups that do important and vital work on our campus and in our neighbourhoods. We look forward to another tremendous night celebrating connections to such an important community."
Three members of the Wesmen basketball teams have served as role models in their indigenous communities:
- Robyn Boulanger, a sophomore guard on the women's team, has given back in a number of ways, including as a volunteer with the Pride club.
- Josh Gandier, a John Taylor Collegiate graduate and representative of Peguis First Nation, has represented his province at the North American Indigenous Games and has been recognized with a variety of educational awards, including an aboriginal education award from the Business Council of Manitoba. Terence Ross, a sophomore guard on the men's team, returned to the game he loved in 2018-19 after previously playing for the U of W MCAC team.
- Terence Ross has become a leader of youth in the Winnipeg indigenous community, helping form the Warriorz basketball club that competed at the Master's Indigenous Games in 2017.