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All Native Basketball Tournament updates its player eligibility rules

The All Native Basketball Tournament is updating its eligibility rules to allow more players to participate.

From now on, players with a status card or have documentation tracing them back to a village are eligible.

Peter Haugan, president of the ANBT says the updated rules reflect the law of Canada in recognizing who is considered First Nations.

Haugan says it was legal changes at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada that spurred them to change ANBT rules.

Haugan says the rules were always in place to ensure the players are indigenous.

Controversy arose at the ANBT when Josiah Wilson was barred from playing for two years in a row.

Josiah was adopted from Haiti by a Heiltsuk family and is considered fully Heiltsuk by that community.

Don Wilson is Josiah’s father, while he’s disappointed it took so long to come to a resolution, they’re both ecstatic at the final outcome.

Don says they’re very happy with the support they’ve received from everybody, adding if Canada is allowed to naturalized citizens, so should First Nations.

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