The Canadian Lacrosse Foundation has taken the first steps toward implementing the N60 Program. This program will introduce grassroots lacrosse to the Far North and will build upon the success of the Grizzlies Athletic Program in Kugluktuk, Nunavut.
Lacrosse has been identified by all levels of government as a valuable tool on the path toward reconciliation. The game has always created bridges between Indigenous and other communities in Canada. N60 Lacrosse represents a tangible pathway that can be utilized in the healing process.
The N60 Project is the undertaking of the Canadian Lacrosse Foundation (CLF), a charitable organization established to administer endowment funds and develop charitable activities within the lacrosse community. A key mandate of the Foundation is to work toward improving the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, and troubled youth.
Jim Burke, Chairman of the Canadian Lacrosse Foundation says, “The Canadian Lacrosse Foundation is pleased to be involved in the N60 Wellness Project to be delivered to three communities in Nunavut. The intent of the program is to provide the youth of Nunavut with an opportunity to participate in a program that will promote a healthy and active lifestyle. By introducing lacrosse to the community by way of a fully developed intramural program, the youth of Nunavut will be able to participate in and learn about an activity that has its roots in the Indigenous culture in North America. By participating in a team environment, participants will learn the value of teamwork, sportsmanship, and discipline.”
The N60 Lacrosse project was developed to build upon the work done in Kugluktuk from 1999-2005, using lacrosse as a motivator and a healing game with northern youth to reach their potential. The power and success of the original program in Kugluktuk has been featured on ESPN, CBC, and more recently made into a Hollywood movie “The Grizzlies.”
Russ Sheppard, whose story is the focus of The Grizzlies movie and N60 Committee Member says, “I am excited to be involved in the N60 development program. Having had lacrosse running in Kugluktuk many years ago, I lived the connection these youth can make with the game. I am excited to see how far this goes and to see more northern youth exposed to the Medicine Game.”
Recently Hockey North teamed up with the CLF to run a youth clinic to introduce the game in Norman Wells, NWT. Former NLL and Iroquois National Team star Cam Bomberry provided instruction to dozens of local youth. Hockey NWT had assistance from the Aboriginal Sport Circle of the NWT, Hockey Canada Foundation, Turtle Island Lacrosse, Norman Wells Minor Hockey, and Canadian North Airlines.
The long-term goal is to have lacrosse played in Indigenous communities in the Yukon, N.W.T., and Nunavut.
For More Information on the N60 Program, please contact Russ Sheppard - firstname.lastname@example.org .