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Playing for Team Canada was a dream come true

Canadian Olympian Brigette Lacquette was guest speaker at Piikani Secondary School.

Brigette Lacquette made history when she became the first First Nations hockey player to be named to the women’s Canadian national hockey team as it prepared for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.
Lacquette visited Piikani Secondary School after being invited to give a presentation to the students about her life and her experiences on her journey to the Olympics.
Lacquette was given a blessing by Margaret Plain Eagle and was given the name Beautiful Eagle Woman as part of the ceremony.
Lacquette, who is a member of the O-Chi-Chak-Ko-Sipi and the Cote First Nations, grew up in Mallard, Man., a small town of 120 people.
Lacquette talked about the adversity she faced growing up as a First Nations member.
“As I started to get better at hockey I had to go to the bigger cities and that’s where I started to face racism,” Lacquette said. “In Winnipeg, I was super excited, coming from the country and playing AAA hockey in a big city. In one of my very first games I got into a pushing match with a girl, started shoving and then she goes, ‘Get off me you dirty Indian’.”
“Obviously that’s something that no kid should experience. Luckily my dad was the coach and he asked me what was wrong, and I told him what was said and he told me something that just stuck with me my entire life, he told me to just beat them on the ice.”
Lacquette went on to twice represent Canada in the U18 Women’s International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships, winning a gold and a silver medal.
Lacquette played at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, being named to the WCHA all-rookie team and from there was selected to try out for the 2014 Sochi Olympic team.
Lacquette was cut from the Canadian team, and after being so close, took it hard.
“I didn’t even know if I wanted to play hockey anymore, I had put so much work in and I was so close,” Lacquette said.
However Lacquette didn’t let this setback deter her from pursuing her dream.
“Fast forward a few years and I used that time and it drove me to train harder and try to be my best self,” Lacquette said.
After graduation Lacquette was selected 24th overall in the 2015 Canadian Women’s Hockey League draft by the Calgary Inferno, helping the Inferno win the Clarkson Cup in the 2015-’16 season.
Lacquette was selected to participate in her first Olympic Games this winter, helping Canada take home a silver medal.
“It was one of the proudest moments of my life,” Lacquette said. “Being told I made it was a dream come true.”

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