Delighted parents kept excited children at a distance as a helicopter landed on the Sk’aadg_aa Naay Elementary School field this Sunday. Members of the Seahawks travelled a long way from their hometown of Seattle to not only enjoy the refreshing landscapes of Haida Gwaii, but also to inspire children and youth and to refresh their determination to achieve their goals.
This year, the Seahawks are participating in the 12 North Fishing Tournament at Haico’s Englefield Lodge at Ḵaysuun Ḵaahlii. Funds from the tournament are donated for the Vancouver Children’s Hospital and Crohn’s Disease research.
Upon the team’s arrival, and before activities began, President of the Haida Nation, kil tlaats ‘gaa, Peter Lantin first acknowledged a passing in Vancouver. He then welcomed the Seahawk delegation. Hltaaxuulang Guud Ad K’aaju also welcomed the guests by singing cheif’s welcome and the men’s competition dance.
Ring of Honour member and former Seahawks Quarterback, Jim Zorn, current tight-end Luke Willson, and footballer turned TV colour commentator Jordan “Big Play Babs” Babineaux spent three hours running kids through four stations to refine their football skills. After, an energetic game of flag football was played, and MVP’s were awarded.
The Seahawks organization takes giving back to the community seriously, said spokesperson Omar Mawjee, and putting on the football camp is part of their duty.
Before the football champions departed, the Skidegate Band Council presented painted paddles made by Wayne Edenshaw to the players. Mr. Babineaux noted that he thought they would be handy at Daawxuusda (the west coast), and CHN gifted a blanket, hat and flag to each guest.
Global News anchor Jay Durant was also onsite reporting and interviewing participants. The coverage will air Tuesday night – stay tuned!