The Cree Nation Bears ended hockey camp last Sunday, Sept.
13, in Mistissini. Here is the list of participants and selected Bears.
Biron, Andrew, Wem.,(age) 14, selected; Blacksmith, Emmanuel, Mist., 15, selected; Blacksmith, Neil, Mist., 14; Brian, Nathan, Mist., 14; Coonlshish, Jordan, Mist., l5;Coonlshlsh-Coon, Kenneth, Mist., 14; Dick, Charlie, Whap., 15, selected; Gilpin, Wayne, Wem„ 14, selected; Iserhoff, Joel, Mist., 12; Iserhoff, Tyronne-Billy, Mist., I5;jlmlken, Robert Jr., Mist., 15; Linton, Lawrence Jr., Mist., 14; Longchap, Victor, Wasw., 14; Matoush, Jewyll, Mist., 12; Mattawashish, Aaron, Mist., 12; Metabla, Robbie, Mist., 14, selected; Neeposh, David L.J., Mist., 15, selected; Neeposh, Eugene, Mist., 13; Sam, Byron, Chis., 13, selected; Sam, Matthew, Chis., 15, selected; Shecapio, Nathan, Mist., 13; Sham, David,Whap., 14,selected;Snowboy, Matthew,Chis., l4;Stawart, Ian, Wem 15, selected; Swallow, Aaron, Mist., 13; Swallow, Christopher, Mist., 15, selected; Visitor, John Ross, Wem., 15, selected; Wslstche, Philip John, Wask., 15, selected; Wslstcha, Randy, Wask., 14, selected; Cooper, Naaman, Wasw, selected; Happyjack. Conrad, Wasw.; Jolly-Gull, Jeremy, Wasw., selected; Blacknad, Silas, Nem.
I conducted an interview by phone with Steve Cheechoo, head coach of the Cree Nation Bears (also cousin of NHL drafted Jonathan Cheechoo), and got his comments about last weekend’s camp.
HN: Are you satisfied wfth the overall participation at the camp last weekend?
Steve: I am very please about it. We had a good outcome of 32 registered players at the camp from seven different communities.
How was the camp conducted?
The camp started Friday evening and concluded Sunday afternoon. The selection of players was done from analysis of their performance from different types of exercises on the ice, such as power-skating sessions, different game situations. I also looked at leadership on ice, like how body checking was handled by players.
Is your list of players finalized yet?
No. 1 have a few places which will have to be filled in the next few days. Then, I should have the best “chemistry” of players to start the season. I will also sign up affiliated players, in case of injuries during the season.
Do you have a boarding home program In place for your players?
Yes. In collaboration with the Cree School Board in Mistissini.
We have selected foster families that will be looking after players from outside our community. Some players will also be staying with relatives. We have school policies as well as team policies already in place involving curfews, homework sessions and discipline to be respected on and off ice. We are also in the process of having a disciplinary committee in place to help us.
Will you have support to help players with their education?
All players will be registered in the regular sector at school in Mistissini. We also have an agreement for the school to provide tutor services if needed for any of our players.
How many teams are registered In the Bantam CC League this season?
I believe there will be eight of us in the league this season: Chibougamau, Val d’Or, Amos, Rouyn, Ville-Marie, Qu_villon, La Sarre and the Cree Nation Bears.
When will you be starting the 1998/99 season?
The Grand Opening of the season will be made with Amos hosting a Gala (mini-tournament) on the weekend of Oct. 9-11. What are your goals this coming season?
Lots of goals! (Ahahaha!) Seriously, my main goal is to develop a good hockey team with the best elements we have. We will also try our best to be a competitive team within the Bantam CC League. Last year was our first year in operation and we terminated the season sixth overall. We will set a goal to improve our position this season.
Thank you, Steve, and good luck with our Bears!
I also managed to locate some more Cree hockey players outside the region:
Chibougamau ‘Ambassadeurs” Midget AA: Wesley Trapper (Mist.), Blake Boaum (O.J.), Lance Blacksmith (Wasw.), Jordan Coonlshish (Mist.), Richard Ottarayas (Wasw.)
Chatham, Ontario Junior B: Benjamin Naaposh (Mist.)
Juvenile League, Amos Cometes: Miles Cowboy (Wask.), still at camp
Old Timers Broomball League, Hull, Qc.: Janie Moar (Chis.), still at camp
Guess what? I hear Jonathan Cheechoo is still at camp. The NHL hockey team San JoseSharks sent back some rookies to the minor leagues this week, but Jonathan remains…He will next be training with veterans, Also, Jonathan took part in an evaluation campover the summer for the selection of the Canadian Junior Team. The final roster will be announced next December.
I guess it’s “hockey” for now!