CANADA-UNITED STATESA hundredth birthday!
C. NNAEMEKA is a Nigerian Oblate from the Province of Cameroon, working in
Between the 1 and 11 July 2015, I took part in the native inter-band games, (J.A.I.B. 2015). The competition this year took place in the Innu community of Mashteuiatsh, (Pointe-Bleu). I participated as a member of the delegation of Uashat mak Mani-Utenam - my community of residence. The J.A.I.B. is a sports competition among the youth of First Nation communities of Quebec: among them, the Innus, the Cris, the Abénaquis, the Algonquins, the Attikameks, the Malécites, the Micmacs, the Naskapis, the Hurons-Wendats, the Mohawks etc. I went, first as an assistant basketball coach and one of the supervisors but also with the intention of continuing my integration among the First Nations.
This year’s competition was attended by 950 youth and 250 supervisors from 15 First Nation communities. This fraternal competition was really a gathering of indigenous peoples and cultures.
The desire to attend the competition grew during
training sessions I had with the young from the Innu community. Following a number of sports activities on the basketball court, I guessed
that it would be an ideal time for being able to meet native youth coming from
other places. So
at the suggestion of Fr. Gerard BOUDREAULT, I contacted the organisers from the
Innu community of Uashat mak Mani-Utenam who joyously accepted my request.
My presence at first aroused the curiosity of the participants and especially of the younger ones who could not grasp the idea of a Black African who, to top it all, is a priest living in Quebec. But slowly, many of them approached me to know more about me. What surprised them most of all was no longer my origin but my vocation. They could not understand how a young Nigerian priest could also be a basketball player. Many went to confirm my identity with the members of our delegation before accepting that I was a priest. While some were curious over my identity as a priest and a basketball player, others were amused at my passion for the social media, and seeing on my Twitter account (@aTweetingPriest), they were asking "Who is this tweeting priest?”