For Oneida First Nation skateboarder Adam George, Saturday, June 11 is a big day.
The 29-year-old has high hopes.
If he does well, he could represent Canada at the Olympics in the international skateboarding event.
Even though he’s been skateboarding for over 16 years, the former Ontario resident is a little nervous.
“There are big names here. Really good street skaters,” he admitted.
He is attending the 7 Generation Cup competition at the Langley Events Center with his friends, and it meant a lot to him.
Soon he lets go of worries and remembers that he is here to enjoy the sport and honor Indigenous representations.
He even wears a t-shirt that reads “standing sunrise” and a message on the back: “Canada is an illegal occupation based on genocide.
The skateboarder said he wanted to get the message across that “although we live in this country, it’s important to remember how it was built”.
“There was a lot of violence and genocide,” George added.
At 3-Day Professional Indigenous Skateboarding Event, Organizers Highlight Cultural Activities of B.C.’s 198 First Nations
The event takes place on the unceded territories of the Kwantlen First Nation, hence the name of the competition, 7 Generations Cup, which highlighted the seven laws of life of the Kwantlen: health, happiness, humility, generations, generosity, forgiveness and understanding.
For Brenda Knights, one of the directors of the Generations Skateboard Society, the event signifies strong Indigenous inclusion.
“Many of our communities have not been able to come together in recent years due to COVID. Today we have Native vendors, powwow dancers, Native singers and competitors here.
The Knights’ dream is to see a pro-Indigenous rider in the Olympics.
With high hopes and a calm demeanor, the Knights quietly cheer on George and all the other native riders who are competing.
Soon, George finishes his time in the rink and returns to the bleachers.
“I think I did well, but there are big names and amazing skaters out there,” he said. If he doesn’t win this time, George said he will try harder and come back next year.
Alongside skateboarding, he also continued his English studies at Simon Fraser University. A lover of skateboarding, George even went to Japan to participate in competitions and learn more about this sport.
Although they are not skateboarders, the Knights also share the same passion for the sport.
She is present at the event, not only managing artists, but she is also one of the native vendors, selling skateboards, handmade baskets, and hoodies.
Her fiancé, Jason Bothe (aka Renee Renee), who was the emcee for the event, is also a skateboarding enthusiast.
Bothe is an icon in the skateboarding world, recognized for hosting at various events as well as appearing in a number of skate-focused films and music videos.
The two wanted to give skaters of all ages, genders and backgrounds a platform to come and showcase their skills.
“Skateboarding is now also in the Olympics, so the event aims to build the capacity of young people,” she concluded.
The duo also run a charity called IndigiSkate, which offers kids camps and more.
The Knights wanted to ensure strong Indigenous leadership and inclusion throughout the event.
The 7 Generations Cup began on Friday and continued through the weekend, culminating in closing ceremonies, coverage and powwow dancing at 5.15pm today (Sunday June 12) at Langley Events Center.
People can buy tickets and find more information about the event at 7genskate.com.
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