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Twin Indigenous sisters prepare for NCAA Division 1 hockey scholarship opportunity

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WATCH: The Bear family describes the journey for Kyla and Jordyn to realize their dream of playing NCAA Division 1 hockey – Mar 31, 2021

Kyla and Jordyn Bear began to love the game of hockey while growing up on the Ochapowace First Nation, about an hour south of Yorkton, Sask.

Once they got into organized hockey, they had stops in Churchbridge, Whitewood and then Melville until the Triple-A team disbanded.

Read more: N.S. hockey player leads Wisconsin team to NCAA championship

After some family discussions, the twin sisters packed up and head for the hockey academies in British Columbia for Grades 11 and 12.

“The biggest thing is leaving home at such a young age and going out there and understanding the world out there and what it has to offer,” said Tim Bear, Kyla and Jordyn’s father.

“From there it just seemed to work out, because girls hockey is growing at such a rapid rate and getting the recognition it deserves now.”

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“What they sacrificed for us, and gave up for us, was incredible,” Kyla said.

“We are so deeply grateful that we are able to have them as parents.”

The sisters are now preparing to head east and across the border to Rochester, N.Y., where they have accepted hockey scholarships at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

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Both said they are beyond excited about this next step in their hockey journey and to also help the next generation.

“We’ve finally made it to where we’ve always wanted to go throughout life,” Jordyn said.

“We have sacrificed so many things throughout our life to be where we are today. And we have finally hit the dream.”

Their mother, Cindy, said the girl’s goal was always to play Division 1 hockey.

“They’ve had role models that have played Division 1 hockey. And in the middle of a pandemic, with not much recruiting going on, it was more than what we could have asked for,” she said.

Read more: NHL players voice support for launching women’s pro hockey league

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The sisters say that they are forever grateful to their parents and their older brothers for their support and guidance to get them to this point.

“It’s finally a reality,” Jordyn said. “(It’s) what we worked for. The late nights, the early mornings and the hard workouts that our brothers sometimes put us through.”

Tim said the experience the family has been through will open doors for others.

“This is opening doors to not only our First Nation, but the people of Saskatchewan,” he said.

“Because in time, as parents, we are going to be educated on what it takes to get there and once they get there, what it’s all about.”

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