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ANT Women’s Division MVP may be barred from playing this year

Shayla Schooner.

Shayla Schooner drives to the hoop. Courtesy of Shayla Schooner.

A member of the Bella Bella Heiltsuk Nation Women’s basketball team is calling foul.

Shayla Schooner was part of the champion women’s team last year, and was MVP for the women’s division.

But a few days ago, the All Native Tournament Committee told her that she’s ineligible to play due to questions about her band association.

Schooner vehemently says she’s Heiltsuk and has the documentation and community support to prove it.

She says numerous pieces of documentation have been sent, but to no avail so far.

Mary Brown is the coach of the team, and says they’ve followed ANBT’s eligibility rules.

Brown says communicating with the ANBT committee has been haphazard, adding there should be better clarification on the eligibility rules.

While she doesn’t want to think that Shayla is being targeted specifically, Brown says she can’t think of why Shayla is ineligible this year.

Shayla Schooner says she’ll still travel with the team to Prince Rupert tonight and hope for the best.

About Gene Law

5 comments

  1. Let Shayla play!! We as First Nations people have put up with discrimination for far too long… Quit doing this to your own people!! To me, this is all its about.. Power and control… Who’s power tripping this time?

    • I agree….let her play…she trained no doubt for this and her blood line is of Heiltsuc ancestry.
      My daughter is from Waglisla and Lax Kw alaams
      I agree with Angie..

  2. I’ve been running Native tourneys here in Amch. For 23 years and require native trible cards they have to be 1/4 native they know the rules and can show at anytime. You have to much politics involved sounds to me.needs to be run by natives . I’ve been to your tournament one of the best I’ve been involved don’t let politics in the game….

  3. “We’re a basketball tournament, right? We’re not a political venue.” said Peter Haugen about the LNG protest by the Saints. And now this? wow.

  4. Desmon Hunter Pack

    This is the work of scared teams but more so coaches, and this is the reason the north shore wolves no longer attend the tournament, one of the best teams Jr. And Sr. to see and touch the courts in Rupert. Don’t get me wrong, those who may not be First Nation reasonably should be looked at but someone who is clearly First Nations and has had lived in that community for years shouldn’t be questioned, especially after she had already played a year with no issues and then all of a sudden she’s becomes and MVP and the fear and concerns turn to problems. We all work hard to be good and great players and just because your nation or teams don’t have the same dedication doesn’t mean you have to sabotage a team and take the their legs from under them to hopefully give your team a chance. We as individual nations often forget this is about each player, not the nations and teams themselves. The passion to be great is rarly easy to find but most of the time it can be taught, it’s a teams and coaches job to show them the way to greatness, not how to work the system to gain an advantage and hopefully we can coast closer to a championship. This is the thought process that keeps our people from achieving a potential that we only believe to belong to cultures of “privilege” when we forget we are humens just like them, and the privilege is each breath we take. What we do with that time is our choice and privilege. #feedonthefear #dontfeedthefear

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