Montreal Alouettes touch down in Kahnawake
(Kahnawake – September 26, 2023) The Mohawk Council of Kahnawàke (MCK) is pleased to announce an exciting collaboration with the Canadian Football League’s (CFL) Montréal Alouettes (“the Alouettes”) that will see opportunity for both professional athletes and Kahnawa’kehró:non to meet and interact, through football. The initiative aims to showcase reconciliatory efforts that the national sports franchise is undertaking with indigenous communities across Canada.
The CFL and its nine-member organizations are launching activities across the country to recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. For the Montréal Alouettes, there was intention to further develop efforts focused on engaging and building a relationship with its closest Indigenous neighbor, Kahnawà:ke.
“The Alouettes organization reached out to the MCK, as they wanted to do more on-the-ground relationship building by meeting with our young people in a fun and competitive environment,” said Ietsénhaienhs Jessica Lazare who holds the Heritage Portfolio. “They are proving that reconciliation is about action, with the added incentive that they inspire hope for our youth to dream big in terms of athletics – namely, the sport of football.”
“The Alouettes are extremely proud to participate in the Canadian Football League initiative during the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation in Canada and show their commitment to fight all forms of discrimination against indigenous peoples”, said Mark Weightman, President and CEO with the Montreal Alouettes. “It’s time to help raise awareness among Canadians about the treatment of Aboriginal populations in the past and today. Football is a unifying sport and our players look forward to meeting the young people of Kahwanake.”
On Wednesday, September 27th at the Kahnawà:ke Sports Complex field, the Alouettes (M-A Dequoy, Austin Mack, Kaion Julien-Grant, Frédéric Chagnon) will meet and participate in a football tournament with youth. Across the country, CFL teams will wear orange and white warm-up jerseys for games scheduled on September 30th, aimed at building awareness of the tragedies of the residential school system and to show support for survivors and their families.
The jerseys worn by the Alouettes will be sold in a silent auction, with half of the proceeds donated towards helping offset costs for Kahnawà:ke youth who want to pursue the sport of football, and the other half to a group of local volunteers who coordinate Orange Shirt Day activities for the community.
Lastly, those who attend the meet and greet and participate in the football tournament will be invited to an Alouettes home game on Monday, October 9th, where they will be greeted on the field at half time and be part of the entourage who will receive proceeds from the silent auction fundraiser.
To register for the Meet and Greet, please contact the Sports and Recreation Unit at (450) 638-3311.