The Squamish Nation and the Langley-based Vancouver Stealth pro lacrosse team have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in a ceremony held at the Squamish Nation Elders Centre in North Vancouver.
The signing, attended by Squamish Nation councillors, families, and invited guests, along with Stealth executives and players, marks the beginning of a partnership in the development of a plan to promote and support the game of lacrosse to families and youth from the Nation.
The ceremony was marked by a prayer welcoming the Stealth to the Squamish Nation, and concluded with traditional drumming and song, autograph signings, a gift exchange, and a luncheon.
The Stealth presented the Squamish Nation with two autographed jerseys, one of which will be displayed at the Chief Joe Mathias Centre, and at other is for the Squamish Nation Chiefs and Council.
The Squamish Nation presented the Stealth with a hand-painted wooden piece by Squamish artist William Watts, which will be displayed at the Stealth office in the Langley Events Centre.
Co-chair of Council, Chief Byron Joseph, welcomed the Stealth in SkwxwÃº7mesh Snichim (Squamish language), saying â€œWe are proud to stand together with our families and the Vancouver Stealth. Lacrosse has always been an important part of our community and is a healing game that has the power to bring people together. We look forward to having our people at the games with our drums cheering on our new lacrosse family.â€
Stealth Owner Denise Watkins discussed the rich history of Squamish Nation lacrosse in her address: â€œWe are honored to enter this relationship with the Squamish Nation. From the 1936 North Shore Indians inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame to some of the 2001 Presidents Cup winners present today, the people of the Squamish Nation can be proud of their champions. We hope to be equal to the task as role models.â€
The Stealth were well-represented in the signing ceremony with the organizationâ€™s owner, Denise Watkins; president and general manager Doug Locker; head coach Dan Perreault; chief financial officer David Takata; client services coordinator Jake Elliott; and players Johnny Powless, Wenster Green, Rhys Duch, and Cliff Smith.
Recently announced senior First Nations development advisor Tewanee Joseph was instrumental in bringing the Squamish Nation and Vancouver Stealth together for this historic event, according to the Stealth.