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First Nations' athletes shine

Several Okanagan athletes with First Nation's heritage have been recognized by the province for their excellence in sports.  

The Premier’s Awards for Aboriginal Youth Excellence in Sport were handed out to 12 athletes from around the province, four of which have ties to the Okanagan.

 

  • Kaitlyn Lafontaine, 22, Kelowna, Métis Nation BC
  • William Brewer, 16, from the Okanagan Indian Band.
  • Daniel Everton, 17, Penticton, Métis Nation BC 
  • Kylie Jack, 22, Penticton Indian Band 

Kaitlyn Lafontaine plays basketball for Vancouver Island University. On the court, she helped her team to top-five finishes at PACWEST and National Championships. 

She represented Team BC at the North American Indigenous Games, and has recently returned to help coach.

Off the court, she is an outstanding student who received the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association National Scholar Award three years in a row.  She also received the 2017 Robyn Muir Memorial Award given to the VIU female student-athlete who demonstrates excellence to sport and academics. 

Kaitlyn will graduate this year with a criminology degree and plans to attend law school. She hopes to specialize in Aboriginal law, so she can give back to the community that has given her so much. 

William Brewer is a multi-talented athlete, excelling in snowboarding, lacrosse, basketball and track and field. 

Brewer is a BC Top 100 Competitor for snowboarding, he’s been a member of the official Sun Peaks Team for three years. 

Know as a leader, Brewer was captain and MVP of his Nicola Valley Minor Lacrosse team.

In 2017, Brewer represented B.C. at the North American Indigenous Games in Toronto on the U16 Box Lacrosse team.

He also earned the 2017 Track Newcomer of the Year Award from Merritt Secondary School as well as the Junior Athlete of the Year Award. 

Daniel Everton is a top young B.C. volleyball player. 

Although chosen as one of the youngest Team BC players ever for the 2017 Canada Summer Games, he decided to captain the 16U Team BC instead at the National Team Challenge. 

He also captained the Kamloops Volleyball Club’s 17U team to a 13th place finish at the 2017 Club Volleyball Nationals. 

And as captain of his school team, Daniel was awarded the Top Athlete Award and the Top Overall Student award for his grade. 

Kylie Jack is a NCAA Division 2 golfer playing and studying at Simon Fraser University. 

In 2017, she placed second at the Greater Northwest Athletic Conference Championships and helped her team to a ninth-place finish at the Women’s Golf Super Regional. 

At the Pacific Northwest Golf Association Women’s Amateur tournament in Renton, WA, Kylie finished in the round of 16 after starting the tournament ranked 30th. 

She embraces the challenge of combining university sport with full-time studies in Criminology while volunteering at junior girls’ golf clinics and with SFU’s Peer Cousins program.

When she is home, she volunteers with the Westbank First Nation Youth Program and with Penticton’s Four Seasons Cultural Society. 

Kylie says that embracing her Aboriginal Ancestry has been a great journey. 

And when she plays golf, she thanks the local ancestors for allowing her to play on their territory.

BC Government and Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation Council presented the 2017 Premier's Awards for Aboriginal Youth Excellence in Sport in Richmond on Tuesday.



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