skip to Main Content

University of Alberta students build hangar to promote sports in Kapawe’no First Nation

University of Alberta students have remodeled an old shed at Kapawe’no First Nation in northern Alberta and stocked it with sports equipment for children in the community.

Students from the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sports and Recreation have teamed up with the Indigenous Sports Council of Alberta (ISCA) and the Alberta Kinesiology Association in a project to identify barriers children face when participating in recreational sports and activities.

The ISCA conducted a series of surveys within the Kapawe’no First Nation, which is located approximately 30 kilometers northwest of High Prairie and approximately 370 kilometers from Edmonton.

The students were then challenged to develop a strategy to overcome the obstacles using the data collected. The winning team designed a project called SHED, or Spiritual Holistic Exercise Den.

U of A students who participated in the project with the Kapawe’no community ensured that the community led the project. (Submitted by Taylor McPherson)

Taylor McPherson, from the Miawpukek First Nation in Newfoundland and Labrador, was one of the project’s lead students.

“Honestly, it makes me really happy to work with the community to put this program together and make sure we had all the supplies we needed for them,” McPherson said.

McPherson said the project helped her connect with her culture.

“It shows that culture can be integrated into sports recreation, and it’s just one way to do it,” McPherson said.

listen now |

Active radio8:43Bringing Sport to Kapawe’no First Nation

Access to sports equipment and programs may be limited by where you live. We hear from two students who set out to change that to a First Nations community near Lesser Slave Lake.

Students stocked the shed with equipment for activities such as archery and fishing supplies, as well as materials for traditional Aboriginal crafts such as beadwork.

“There are also just mainstream sports like basketball, soccer and lacrosse,” student Andre Bonfiglio Compean told CBC Edmonton. Active radio.

“The goal of the program is to help children develop in different aspects of life spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally.”

Work with the community

Tracy Whatmore is an internship counselor in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sports and Recreation at the University of Alberta. She noticed that there was a need for creative ways for students to meet the demands of their internship.

“I thought this would be a great opportunity to partner and use this data and give students this innovative and flexible new way to get this work-integrated learning experience,” she said. declared.

Five students seated in front of an open wooden shed.  There is traditional aboriginal art on the shed doors.
Kinesiology students from the University of Alberta collaborated with Indigenous mentors to transform a community shed into sports and recreational facilities. From left to right, André Bonfigilo Compean, Taylor McPherson, Surhan Memon, Cameron Mah and Samantha Jassman. (Submitted by Surhan Memon)

McPherson said the team made sure the community paved the way for the project.

“Many programs won’t succeed if they don’t have the voice of the community,” she said.

Compean said their team recently visited the community and set up a station to teach children more traditional games.

“The kids got competitive and they all had a lot of fun,” he said. “It was a great experience for us and it was an honor to come back.”

Whatmore said the project is not too costly and the team will try to maintain momentum by installing more facilities in rural communities.

The total project cost was $7,500 and included structure and equipment.

Back To Top