Brokenhead Ojibway Nation teen track star is ready to shine at 2023 North American Indigenous Games

Brokenhead Ojibway Nation teen track star is ready to shine at 2023 North American Indigenous Games

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Brokenhead Ojibway Nation teen track star is ready to shine at 2023 North American Indigenous Games's Profile


Kendal Bear will be competing in three events at the 2023 North American Indigenous Games — but the humble teen track star sounds like he almost can’t believe it.

Even after the 16-year-old placed first in the 100 metre and 200 metre sprints and the high jump for his age group at the Team Manitoba tryouts, he needed further confirmation he was on the team to really believe it, he joked.

“I feel pretty excited, honestly. I was thinking that I wasn’t going to make it until I got the email confirming that I did,” the Brokenhead Ojibway Nation track star said with a laugh.

Bear’s top performance in all three events he entered during the tryouts at the University of Manitoba’s University Stadium in mid-July punched his ticket to the games in Kjipuktuk (Halifax), N.S., on Mi’kmaq territory from July 15-23.

Despite his humility, his athletic feats are nothing new, said his mom, Miranda Carver. She noticed her son’s talent when he was quite young.

“He’s played lacrosse, soccer, basketball, and he ran in the Manitoba Marathon three or four years in a row. Ever since he was small, he was very active.”

Kendal Bear competes in the high jump at Team Manitoba’s North American Indigenous Games tryouts. (Miranda Carver/Facebook)

But her son said the Indigenous Games competition is a new experience.

“I’ve been active in the last few years, but this is actually the first time to try out for something like this.” 

The 2023 North American Indigenous Games are still more than 300 days away, but Bear said his family and friends’ support keeps him motivated to train and “on the positive side.”

Those friends and family in Brokenhead Ojibway Nation, about 65 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg on the south shore of Lake Winnipeg, are vocal with their support.

“He’s a rock star! He’s definitely a face of youth sports here in Brokenhead,” said Taylor Galvin, his former middle school basketball coach.

“It’s like he found a sense of identity that he didn’t know was there.”

His mom said everyone in the community has been really supportive.

“It’s brought a lot of attention to him. A lot of people have faith in him, saying things like ‘I knew he could do it’ — they’re really behind us to support him financially, emotionally, everything like that,” she said.



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