Little NHL wraps up 50th anniversary with successes

By Rosalind Russell – In 1971, the Little Native Hockey League tournament was created by five people from Manitoulin Island, driven by the goal of providing a platform for First Nation Youth.  

From its beginnings in Little Current, with just 17 teams and around 200 players, the tournament has grown exponentially this year with 245 teams and over 4,000 players thanks to Earl Abotossaway, former Chief Jim McGregor, James D. Debassige, Reverend Leonard Self and Norman Debassige.

All five have passed away but have left a legacy that has meant so much to so many First Nation youth and communities across Ontario.  

The organizers acknowledged that legacy throughout the week of activities and games hosted in the Markham area.  

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