1995 NAIG GOLD MEDAL WINNING TEAM
The North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) is a multi-sport event involving Indigenous North American athletes staged intermittently since 1990. The vision of the Games is to improve the quality of life for Indigenous Peoples by supporting self-determined sports and cultural activities which encourage equal access to participation in the social / cultural / spiritual fabric of the community in which they reside and which respects Indigenous distinctiveness.
Blaine, Minnesota- a suburb of Minneapolis- St. Paul Region, hosted the third set of games in 1995 NAIG. Competition was held at the National training Centre, a 600 acre campus with over 50 grass fields for soccer or lacrosse, eight sheets ice arena, 18 hole golf course. Over 8,000 athletes from across North America attended the Blaine games.
The Province of Manitoba entered a field lacrosse team in the senior men’s category. Mike Gilbert, a physical education teacher from the Sagkeeng First Nation, took on the task of organizing the team. The team was composed primarily from players from Sagkeeng First Nation and indigenous players who played for St. John’s High School in Winnipeg. Four players from Sagkeeng, Roland Bruyere, Trevor Bruyere, Brunson Bruyere, and Stephen Starr went on to be part of Team Manitoba that won the Division II National Championship in Hamilton in the fall of 1995.
Manitoba swept the round robin portion of the tournament earning a bye to the gold medal game. Manitoba defeated Alberta in the gold medal game; in which a NCAA referees described it as the “best game” they ever officiated.
Members of the team are: Chris Prince, Bill Stevenson, Mike Gilbert (Coach), Rollie Bruyere, Brunson Bruyere, Stacey McIvor, Larry Sharpe, Karl Courchene, Doug Gerrard, Lawrence Bruyere, Myles Morrisseau, Steve Starr, Neil Bruyere, Norbert Fontaine, Richard Kirton, Jason Fontaine, and Rob Bruyere.