Jackson Harmon of Hudson Bay, second from left, will be on the Saskatchewan basketball team at the North American Indigenous Games. Photo courtesy of Jackie Harmon
By: Nicole Goldsworthy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Humboldt Journal
Jackson Harmon of Hudson Bay is headed to Dartmouth, N.S. this summer to represent Team Saskatchewan in the North American Indigenous Games.
The games will bring together 756 Indigenous Nations to celebrate, share and reconnect through sport and culture in Kjipuktuk (Halifax), Dartmouth and Millbrook First Nation. There are athletes competing in 16 different sports and three traditional indigenous sports.
Jackson, who is a member of Métis Local 114 in Hudson Bay is very excited to play basketball in the biggest games of his life. Jackson is 16 years old and is in Grade 9. Jackson has always been a hard worker, his mother Jackie said. He transitioned to FlexEd for schooling over the past couple of years to help him better understand his learning style and has thrived achieving honour roll and several students of the month awards.
Jackson has enjoyed hockey but has decided to focusing on his sport of choice to basketball. He has played two seasons in Saskatoon with the Supernovas club program and has become an important part of his team’s successes. He has also taken an interest in the coaching and scouting side of the game, helping his dad scout high school players for several college teams that he works with.
He loves the friends he has made and the opportunities that the game gives him. Jackson attended Gonzaga’s camp last summer and made numerous friends in the United States that he can’t wait to see again this summer after North American Indigenous Games.
Jackson’s goal is to help Team Saskatchewan, win their first ever basketball medal at the games. Team Saskatchewan has come close but never won a medal. Jackson will come off the bench and bring high defensive energy to the team and knock down open three-pointers if left open.
July 17 will be first round robin game with the gold medal game played on July 22. Results will be posted on the games’ website.
The Métis local in Hudson Bay has helped with part of his funding as well as Corrine Severight, a local who ran a bannock sale to help him raise the rest of the money, our local Legion has also given Jackson some financial support.
Jackie said that since taking on basketball as his sport, Jackson has completely come out of his shell and is playing on teams and trying out for teams that he never would have considered before.
“He will be travelling with his team to Halifax and will be away from home alone for the first time in his life. This is a huge accomplishment considering three years ago he couldn’t leave the house without anxiety. Basketball and maturity have helped him overcome that obstacle and we as parents are very proud.”
The team leaves together and does everything together as a group. They are staying in university dorms together. Every athlete at the games are expected to be there the day before it starts and leave after the closing ceremonies. There will be teams from across Canada, USA and Mexico.