Toronto Blue Jays Care Foundation FHQ Rookie League Program
The Jays Care Foundation Indigenous Rookie League program is a summer baseball for development program created and delivered in partnership with First Nations, urban city centres, and Inuit communities across the country.
Eleven First Nations in Southern Saskatchewan make up the File Hills Qu’appelle Tribal Council (FHQ) all with an on- going commitment to standing together in solidarity, so it came as no surprise when FHQ partnered with Jays Care Foundation to create the inaugural Rookie League Program in 2018. The goals of the program were to promote unity and pride within each community, provide much needed summer programming for youth that build up their skills and self-esteem, and to use sport to provide cross-community healing. FHQ chose to host their Rookie League program over a nine-week period that included weekly practices and inter-community games for all eleven communities.
What Makes FHQ Rookie League unique?
Traditionally, teams accumulate points based on how many games they win, however in the FHQ inter-community league things get a lot more creative! During this year’s program, a new scoring system was devised that rewarded teams not just for wins, but for building cross-community connections. Points could be scored in many different ways like having a local Elder open a game with a traditional teaching, having the Chief throw the first pitch, or by providing food for the visiting team. Each game also included designated innings for both youth and adults to play, which encouraged participation from all the generations.
Little Black Bear First Nation
Winner of the League’s points title. This team earned 4,881 points throughout the season enabling them to win a trip to Toronto to watch the Toronto Blue Jays in the Jays Care Community Clubhouse.
Okanese First Nation
Winner of the 2018 FHQ Rookie League Championship Tournament and finalist in the Spring Classic tournament against the Treaty 3 Rookie League winners.
For more information, please contact:
Tara Griffith – FHQ Rookie League Coordinator
Phone: 1 (306) 332-8200
Fax: (306) 332-1811