Hundreds of Indigenous Albertans came together for a golf tournament in central Alberta recently for the inaugural All Nations Cup (ANC).
Wolf Creek Golf Resort, near Morningside, hosted over 600 participants in the ANC Golf Tournament from July 26 to 28. With that many golfers, the event was Canada’s largest golf tournament and the first large scale First Nations golf tournament.
Warrior Golf, the company that organized the event, was hired by the ANC board.
“In the past we worked with ANC. We operated that since 2018. We could not operate last year due to COVID-19,” said Jeremy Makosis, Warrior Golf vice-president.
“We approached the Senior Nations Cup to see if we could accommodate all divisions. We never thought it would go to (this) scale. We had six divisions and over 600 participants,” said Makosis.
He says that the whole idea was to bring the community back together. There were two four-year-olds and three participants over the age of 70.
“So, it’s pretty overwhelming and humbling,” said Makosis.
He explained how the tournament worked: In each division, your community receives points. The more divisions you enter the better chance you have at winning the ANC. Golfers represent their First Nation community.
The majority of the participants were from Alberta but there were some from Ontario and Saskatchewan.
He says that the idea is to encourage First Nation juniors to get involved and for communities to get involved and support each other.
“It’s pretty cool to see people encourage youth, ladies, super seniors and each other. We have a wide range of golfers from beginners to scratch golfers. But it’s really all about the community coming together. On a larger scale, coming together as one Nation,” Makosis said.
Rick Lightning, a Maskwacis golf participant, was able to connect with friends at the tournament that he hadn’t seen since the pandemic began.
“There was a lot of laughing and good memories being shared at the golf tournament. Overall, it was a good experience and the golf courses were amazing,” said Lightning.
“It was nice to see all generations and all levels of golf players coming together as well as many of our people coming together in one place from not only Alberta,” said Holly Johnson-Rattlesnake, Maskwacis participant.
Makosis said Wolf Creek was chosen because it was ideal and centrally located.
The ANC board is comprised of Treaty 6, 7 and 8 members but due to the success of the golf tournament they are expanding.
He says they will be looking to expand the board to be more diverse to include more women and Two Spirit individuals.
Makosis says that former Oiler player Ethan Bear stopped by to show his support.