Advertisement

RCMP teams up with Indigenous group to bring ice rink to remote northern Alberta community

Construction on the new skating rink in Chateh, Alta., was completed in November but a "hockey-tape cutting ceremony" took place on Monday morning, which was followed by a hockey game. Supplied by Chateh RCMP

The Dene Tha’ First Nation is located in a remote part of northern Alberta but thanks to a partnership with the RCMP and others, Indigenous children from that community can now enjoy an ice rink, an amenity children in other parts of Canada enjoy throughout the cold winter months.

The RCMP said young people in the Chateh, Alta., area tied up their skates to use their brand new public rink on Monday, thanks to a partnership between the Mounties and the Dene Tha’ First Nation Recreation and Cultural Society.

“A first of its kind in the community, the rink will facilitate sports year round thanks to contributions from the Rink of Dreams Society, Sports Central, RCMP Foundation, Tolko Industries and funding from Jordan’s Principle,” police said in a news release.

Before this rink opened to the public, the RCMP said the nearest recreation centre that could be accessed by the 300 young people in the Chateh area was located in Rainbow Lake, about 45 minutes away.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: ‘It’s the Canadian thing to do’: One-of-a-kind skating rink opens near Onanole

Watch below: Some videos from Global News’ coverage of rinks.

“Detachment Commander Sgt. Gord Hughes and Dene Tha’ Council members recognized a need for a space in their community where local youth could enjoy safe physical activity, relieve stress, engage with other members of the community and build an open and positive relationship with the RCMP,” police said.

View photos of the rink in the gallery below:

16
Construction on the new skating rink in Chateh, Alta., was completed in November but a "hockey-tape cutting ceremony" took place on Monday morning, which was followed by a hockey game. Supplied by RCMP
26
Construction on the new skating rink in Chateh, Alta., was completed in November but a "hockey-tape cutting ceremony" took place on Monday morning, which was followed by a hockey game. Supplied by RCMP
36
Construction on the new skating rink in Chateh, Alta., was completed in November but a "hockey-tape cutting ceremony" took place on Monday morning, which was followed by a hockey game. Supplied by RCMP
46
Construction on the new skating rink in Chateh, Alta., was completed in November but a "hockey-tape cutting ceremony" took place on Monday morning, which was followed by a hockey game. Supplied by RCMP
56
Construction on the new skating rink in Chateh, Alta., was completed in November but a "hockey-tape cutting ceremony" took place on Monday morning, which was followed by a hockey game. Supplied by RCMP
66
Construction on the new skating rink in Chateh, Alta., was completed in November but a "hockey-tape cutting ceremony" took place on Monday morning, which was followed by a hockey game. Supplied by Chateh RCMP

Hughes and the Dene Tha’ First Nation Recreation and Cultural Society were provided with more than $150,000 in funding through Jordan’s Principle grants.

Story continues below advertisement

“Jordan’s Principle is a commitment to First Nations children to ensure they get the products, services and support they need, when they need them,” the RCMP said.

READ MORE: Alberta government signs Jordan’s Principle agreement with feds, First Nations group

While the rink’s construction was completed in November, a “hockey-tape cutting ceremony” took place on Monday morning, which was followed by a hockey game.

“Ensuring the wellbeing of a community and of its youth is fundamental to a healthy community,” Hughes said. “By building the Heek’iicho Mieh (Bison Pond), we want to facilitate wellness across the spectrum — physical, mental, emotional and social.

READ MORE: Fred Sasakamoose and Ted Nolan concerned about future of aboriginal hockey

Chateh is located about 850 kilometres north of Edmonton.

Sponsored content