Swan River community events:
1st Annual Swan River Ball Hockey Tournament
I attended the first annual ball hockey tournament put on by Corey Twin and company. The event was well attended by band members as well as visitors from Driftpile, Wabasca, and Edmonton. All the kids had a blast and everyone left with as many teeth as they showed up with so it was a good day. I was really proud of Corey, Chubba, Trish, Everett, Aaron, Quintin, and everyone else who helped out. I apologize for not listing everyone but there were a lot of people doing registration, selling tickets, and reffing games.
I was mainly proud of all the people I named because: for all they’ve been through they are still involved in the community and doing positive things. Corey, who organized the tournament, is a perfect example of that. He has been through more than almost anyone that I know and at a very young age. Time after time he’s had to deal with the losses of those closest to him and he has taken that and started to raise awareness for the suicide problem that plagues our community. I feel that this event put on by these young people goes further towards suicide prevention than anything any council or workers or poster and flyers have ever done. Young people, who are most at risk, attended this event and saw positive role models their age doing good things. Little kids saw their older siblings and parents being active and supporting a good cause. And, the people who put it on volunteered to do it.
I hope this was a reminder to the community that these young people have a lot to offer this community. These are the guys that make up our Swan River hockey team in Slave Lake. These are the people that do baseball games and horseshoe tournaments. Most recreational activities that take place in our community come from this age group of people when you really think about it. So, if we are going to give criticisms of young people and their activities we had better recognize and give praise when they do the right thing. This tournament, and I hope it becomes an annual thing, is a shining example of them doing the right thing and helping the community come together for a very meaningful cause. I can’t thank Corey and everyone involved enough for that.
Boys and Girls Camp
Boys and Girls Camp takes place the last week of August and is held in various locations through out the Swan Hills. Boys and Girls Camp gives Swan River youth the opportunity to learn how to practice their Treaty Rights to hunt, fish, trap, and gather. Youth have the chance to hunt and butcher a moose, fish, and harvest berries and medicines while being taught by land users and elders. Swan River has been holding these camps for youth since the 1970s.
Culture Camp is held on reserve at Creeland Park in mid-July. At culture camp the community partakes in a number of traditional activities such as drumming and singing. Swan River Culture Camp began in the 1970s.
Ice Fishing Derby
Swan River First Nation Annual Ice Fishing Derby is held every March at CreeLand Park. Cash prizes are provided by the Consultation Department. This year, 2016, will be the 10th Annual Ice Fishing Derby!
On the Canada Day long weekend Swan River hosts a sanctioned rodeo that also includes a parade, dance, and fireworks. Swan River began hosting annual rodeos in 2008 after an over 50 year hiatus.