Reconciliation games hosted by South East Men’s Fastball League

June 23, 2022, 10:44 am
Sierra D'Souza Butts, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

In Whitewood, within Treaty 4 territory, the Fleming Jets, Kahkewistahaw Jays, Whitewood Falcons, Round Lake Braves, Grenfell Gems and Cowessess Royals of the South East Men’s Fastball League, played games against one another to promote reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. All of the teams wore orange shirts with each of their team’s logos on it that day.

On June 11, the South East Men’s Fastball League hosted a day of reconciliation games where all six teams in the league played against each other to promote reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

The three Indigenous teams played against the three non-Indigenous teams that day.

The Fleming Jets won against Kahkewistahaw Jays with a score of 5-0, Grenfell Gems won over Cowessess Royals with a score of 18-2, and Round Lake Braves won against Whitewood Falcons by 16-5.

“To the town of Whitewood, Cole McPherson and people of Whitewood thank you for hosting. As well as Brenda for doing the shirts, thank you to Nutrien for sponsoring the shirts,” said Ian Glasser, president of the South East Men’s Fastball League.

“It’s great to have all the teams here and everyone out on the ball field, it’s great to see everyone come out. Today is just about putting yourself in other people’s shoes, you never know what other people are going through and with what happened in the past with our dark Canadian history, we need to talk about it.”

Chief Evan Taypotat of Kahkewistahaw also said a few words at the event.

“I want to welcome everyone today to the reconciliation games, we have this beautiful weather today, we have families, some fans, we have food and drinks here,” said Taypotat.

Left: Chief Evan Taypotat of Kahkewistahaw Jays and Ian Glasser, president of South East Men’s Fastball League thanked members of the community for coming out in support of the reconciliation games.

“I want to make it clear that today only happened because of the non-Indigenous guys who run our league, it wasn’t because of me or the chief of Round Lake, it was guys like Ian Glasser, Tyler of Grenfell, our non-Indigenous fastball brothers who said we have to do something.

“We have to honor what today means, of what wearing the orange shirt means. Many times around this diamond, even many times at the hockey rink, when we’re there skin color doesn’t matter and skin color doesn’t matter today. It’s just our best versus their best, and that’s what we have to practice tomorrow in our day-to-day life.

Residents and families from different communities came in support of the event. Individuals were cheering on the teams throughout the day.

“We have to make sure we take what we know here, and apply that in the outside world because these towns need the First Nation dollars to live, and the First Nations need these towns to live.”

Taypotat said he hopes events like these can help lead by example to bring all communities closer together.

“We’re going to live here the rest of our lives, in Grenfell, in Kahkewistahaw, in Cowessess, in Fleming, in Moosomin, Esterhazy,” he said.

Desmond Kaysaywaysemat of Kahkewistahaw Jays ran to first base during the Fleming Jets vs. Kahkewistahaw Jays game.

“We’re going to grow old here, our kids are going to grow old here, we should get to know each other a little bit better, and understand each other better aside from just being on the ball diamond, aside from the hockey rinks.

“Now, we can do that. I look around and a few years back, we all won the provincial title together because we put our ethnicities aside, we put our religious beliefs aside, and we got lots accomplished.

“In Canada, we’ve got to make sure we work towards that. Today is a small step, today is a good step, but today is the right step and I thank the South East Men’s Fastball Association for taking this next step.“

The Kahkewistahaw Jays played against the Fleming Jets at the beginning of the day.