3rd Annual Softball Tournament, a home run!

June 9th, 2023

On Wednesday, June 7th, a little under 250 students and staff, 12 First Nations school teams from all over Manitoba, kicked off MFNERC’s 3rd annual softball tournament. The morning started looking a little grey and overcast, but by the time students hit the field, the clouds had parted, and the sun was shining.

Physical education and Health Program facilitator Mike Thomas, and Land-Based physical education facilitator Norbert Mercedes, were both in attendance, along with a visit from MFNERC’s Executive Director, Charles Cochran. “I don’t want to sound dramatic, but events like this can be life-changing” for some of the students involved, shared Mike about the tournament. “I have had countless messages from teachers” and all wanting to share their pride and joy from seeing the effect it has had on their students.

Some schools arrived after 13+ hours of driving to make it to the game, big shout out to all the students and staff from York Landing and Spirit Lake for their dedication and time! This year marks the first tournament open to all MFNERC & MFNSS schools. One of the event’s hosts said

“…next year, we’re aiming for double the participation. When the kids are happy, I am happy.”

Mike Thomas

The 12 schools took part in three rounds of games, with the winners of each game round moving on to final playoff matches. The sun was shining, the temperature was around 27◦degrees, the sound of metal bats clinking against balls, the crunch of red dirt under running shoes, and kids’ laughs, cheers, and shouts all filled the air. Lunch was the traditional game day fuel of hotdogs and hamburgers, grilled and served by MFNERC volunteers.  The games started around 9:30 am and continued into the afternoon. The victorious team of this year’s tournament was Kistiganwacheeng Elementary School, beating Chief Sam Cook Mahmuwee Education Center, who came in a close second.

We want to congratulate and thank everyone who made this event the homerun it was! Thank you to our school’s students and staff for making the journey for the game, and congratulations to the winning teams; everyone who played is a winner in our eyes. Thank you to the hosts, Mike, and Norbert from MFNSS, for all the hard work and planning that went into the day, and to all our volunteers who came out as support, we couldn’t have done it without you.


Lake St. Martin School
Lake St. Martin First Nation
Sergent Tommy Prince School
Brokenhead Ojibwe Nation
Ginew School
Roseau River Anishinaabe Nation
Dakota Plains
Dakota Plains Wahpeton Nation
George Saunders Memorial
York Factory Nation
Long Plains School
Long Plain Nation
Keeseekoowenin School
Keeseekoowenin Ojibway Nation
Lawrence Sinclair Memorial School
Kinonjeoshtegon Nation
Kistiganwacheeng Elementary School
Garden Hill Nation
Chief Sam Cook Mahmuwee Education Center
Tataskweyak Cree Nation
Indian Springs School
Swan Lake Nation
Chemawawin School
Chemawawin Cree Nation
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