The world just turned its attention to Toronto for the PGA TOUR’s RBC Canadian Open. Meanwhile, First Tee – Canada is also taking a moment to reflect in honor of Canadian National Indigenous History Month.
First Tee – Canada is made up of five chapters: First Tee – British Columbia, First Tee – Premier départ Quebec, First Tee – Atlantic, First Tee – Ontario
, and First Tee – Prairies with First Tee – Alberta launching later this year.
Each chapter has unique and dynamic relationships with local Indigenous communities.
First Tee – British Columbia opened its first program location, The Musqueam Golf and Learning Academy, on traditional Musqueam First Nation territory in 2021.
Since then, it has expanded to over 53 program spaces and sold out every session in 2023 thus far. This year, the CPCK Women’s Open will be held at Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club, which is also located on Musqueam traditional territory. During tournament week, First Tee – British Columbia will host a youth clinic nearby to the course at Musqueam Golf and Learning Academy.
First Tee – British Columbia hopes to continue to strengthen its relationship and bring safe, affordable golf programming to an even wider audience as it begins its 2023 summer programs.
First Tee – Premier départ Quebec collaborates with the Mohawk community of Kahnawake, the Cree community of Waskaganish
, and the First Nation of Mashteuiatsh through golf course, school , and community programming.
The chapter also works closely with the Club 24 Athletics Foundation, an organization that works to support young Indigenous leaders through sport and education.
Last year First Tee – Premier départ Quebec hosted programming for 18 Indigenous participants. The team hopes to more than double that number this year.
Jeremy Proteau, First Tee – Premier départ Quebec Program Manager, credits the success of this partnership to the tight knit community and dedicated volunteers.
In the Kahnawake First Nations reserve, there are seven golf courses,
, and the local volunteers are working to introduce golf to children who have previously only had access to lacrosse and hockey.
The courses are working in collaboration with First Tee – Premier départ Quebec to provide certain programming at no cost to participants and with entirely Indigenous coaching staffs.
First Tee – Ontario, First Tee – Prairies
, and First Tee – Atlantic are in the beginning stages of building relationships with the Indigenous communities around them but are hoping to launch programming soon, some as soon as this summer.
Canadian National Indigenous History Month is celebrated each year in June to recognize and honor the rich history, heritage
, and diversity of Canada’s Indigenous populations.
For more information about First Tee – Canada and its communities click here.