The 11th annual All Native Nk’maplqs Hockey Challenge Cup is scheduled for April 3 to 5 in Vernon.

The 11th annual All Native Nk’maplqs Hockey Challenge Cup is scheduled for April 3 to 5 in Vernon.

Nk’maplqs tourney hits the ice

The 11th annual All-Native Nk’maplqs Hockey Challenge Cup is scheduled for April 3 to 5

Plans are well underway for a cultural tradition.

The 11th annual All-Native Nk’maplqs Hockey Challenge Cup is scheduled for April 3 to 5 at Kal Tire Place, Civic Arena and Priest valley Arena.

“We are pleased to be hosting the all-native hockey tournament with as many as 25 teams throughout B.C. and the western provinces attending,” said Keith Louis, one of the organizers.

“This is one of the largest hockey tournaments in B.C. and will give our communities an excellent opportunity to showcase our hospitality, commerce, and prosperity to the entire province.”

The initiative to revitalize the game and the tradition of an all-native hockey tournament in the Interior is a shared vision of committee members.

“We have dedicated our time to ensure each year the tournament is a success and a continued legacy of members and players that cherished the game of hockey,” said Louis.

In 1973, the last all-native hockey tournament was held in Vernon.

The first Nk’maplqs Challenge Cup was held in 2005 and organized by the late Jay D. Louis, Kevin Ned, Keith Louis, Shelly Mitchell and Brad Steel, from Rec Excellence, with just 11 teams in competitive and recreation divisions.

“The Nk’maplqs Challenge Cup has been working to help make our community a sports minded place to live, learn, work and play, as well to contribute to our youth,” said Keith Louis.

Tournament admission is $10 a day or $25 for a weekend pass. Children 12 and under are free.

For information, check out the Challenge Cup’s Facebook page.