Narratives of Race Relations in Southern Alberta: An Examination of Conflicting Sporting Practices

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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In March 2001 a minor hockey league in southern Alberta (Foothills Hockey) voted in favor of banning a local First Nations Hockey Association (Kainai Minor Hockey) from league play as a result of various violations committed by officials, players, and parents over the course of the season. Since that time hockey and recreation officials from Kainai have been attempting to get Kanai Minor Hockey reinstated into the league but have, up until this point, been unsuccessful. This article explores the exclusionary practices that led to the removal of Kainai from organized youth hockey and examines the racialized discourse that permeates First Nations–Euro-Canadian relations in southern Alberta. The article attempts to communicate these meanings in the same way the author encountered them, as unfiltered personal reactions reflecting how First Nations and their neighbors perceive and talk about each other.

The author is with the University of Ottawa, Research Centre for Sport in Canadian Society, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

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