NHLPA Goals & Dreams donation helps start new program for Salish Storm

The Salish Storm Hockey Association recently celebrated at Hockey Day in Canada with an upcoming donation of 25 sets of equipment from NHLPA Goals & Dreams.

The game of hockey was celebrated in the heart of Victoria, British Columbia, last weekend for Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada.

With the inner harbour of Victoria decorated in red for the festivities, locals gathered to take part in various celebrations as a community.

The Salish Storm Hockey Association, an organization that operates on traditional lands of the Coast Salish people, was highlighted as the recipient of an upcoming donation from NHLPA Goals & Dreams of 25 sets of new youth hockey equipment.

“It means a great deal to us. The NHL Players’ Association, a new partner with Salish Storm, allows us to open yet another new program on the South Island here. We’re all about bringing more and more opportunities to Indigenous kids in the Coast Salish Territories,” said Alan Macdonald, President of Operations with the Salish Storm, on Sportsnet’s Hockey Day in Canada broadcast.

Salish Storm Hockey is a nonprofit, volunteer run organization that provides Indigenous players a barrier-free opportunity to play hockey through providing resources such as certified coaches, free equipment and ice time in a culturally supported setting.

Established in 2019, the demand for the program grew and went from single ball hockey camps using rollerblades, to successfully lobbying ice time and handing out full sets of equipment.

“It has just been the most blessed, welcomed, heartfelt experience for Indigenous children to come out to actually participate and have gear to put on and have actual coaches, and transportation in a lot of cases, for our children that most likely only would watch hockey on television and not have an opportunity to put on a pair of skates, let alone even learn how to skate,” said Debbie Good, elder Director, on the broadcast.

Salish Storm Hockey and participants gather at Hockey Day in Canada. (Photo courtesy of Salish Storm Hockey Association)

Salish Storm has a goal to continue developing and introducing new generations of Indigenous players to hockey and eventually see representation throughout all levels, including competitively. This donation from NHLPA Goals & Dreams, in partnership with Salish Storm, will help more Indigenous youth ages 6-16 participate in the sport they love.

Hockey tl’itl’eshun tu mukw’lhwet. Hockey is for everyone.