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Indigenous hoops star hopes to leave lasting impact on students

The Peace Wapiti Public School District hopes CIS Basketball star Michael Linklater’s tour of schools in the County of Grande Prairie leaves a profound message with students.

“He can hopefully inspire kids to see where they can all go,” says Indigenous Educator Bridgette Benning. “From places like Grande Prairie or our smaller communities, the distance they can travel.”

Linklater is from the Thunderchild First Nation in Saskatchewan, is a Fiba 3×3 pro basketball player and member of Team Canada, and runs a campaign called Boys with Braids meant to brings awareness to the cultural significance of why Indigenous boys and men wear a braid. He will be visiting schools in Hythe, Wembley, Grande Prairie, Sexsmith and Clairmont as part of school division’s Indigenous guest speaker series.

Benning says the speaking tour will focus on the importance of culture, healthy living and after-school practices. She believes the chances to present the importance of ones culture has never been greater.

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“I think there are more opportunities to infuse indigenous culture and awareness into schools and I think this is a really awesome way of doing it.”

The tour will end Thursday at Harry Balfour School in Grande Prairie.

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