For the first time ever, B.C. golfers who identify as Inuit, Metis or First Nation will compete against each other at the inaugural Indigenous Golf Championship.
Scheduled for the May 26 weekend, the tournament will take place at the Osoyoos Indian Band-owned Nk’Mip Canyon Desert Golf Course.
A total of 128 men, women and youth will compete in an event that promises to be competitive and fun.
“As a competitive golfer and Indigenous woman, I am looking very much forward to the blending of competition and reconciliation at the same event,” said Christina Proteau, chair of the organizing committee. “I am proud to be working where our event will promote Indigenous engagement in competitive golf.”
The championship had been a dream of former chair of BC Golf, T’esots’en (Patrick Kelly).
“It will provide an exciting opportunity for Indigenous golfers to walk together in the joy of sport, camaraderie, and oh yes, a bit of spirited competition,” he said.
The tournament will begin with an official practice round on May 26 before the 36-hole event kicks off on the Saturday. Champions will be crowned in men and women’s gross, men and women’s net Stableford and a youth (under 19) division.
The youth division will serve as final qualifying event for golfers who are vying to represent B.C. at the 2023 North American Indigenous Games set in Halifax, Nova Scotia in July.
“We feel extremely honoured and proud to be the first in B.C. to host such a prestigious event as the Indigenous Championship British Columbia. We are hopeful that this event will provide many great memorable moments for all who participate, whether they compete, organize or volunteer,” said Dave George, Nk’Mip general manager and Osoyoos Band member.
Last year, Golf Ontario hosted their inaugural Indigenous Golf Championship and will host their second championship later this summer. The Ontario and B.C. events will each qualify golfers to compete in a national event to take place in late 2023 at Bear Mountain Resort in Langford.
Golfers can register starting March 1 and ending April 28. For more information, visit britishcolumbiagolf.org.