Follow Us! Like Our Page!

With record-high tournament participation, Little Native Hockey League (Little NHL) celebrates 50 years of inclusion, community and fun

With record-high tournament participation, Little Native Hockey League (Little NHL) celebrates 50 years of inclusion, community and fun

This year’s tournament will see the highest number of female competitors in its history

Press Release

MARKHAM, ON, March 4, 2024 In one week, more than 4,000 Indigenous youth will lace up their skates and take to the ice for the 50th anniversary of the Little Native Hockey League’s (Little NHL) tournament, sponsored by Hydro One Inc. (Hydro One). Ontario’s largest Indigenous hockey tournament will welcome players between the ages of five to 17 years old, coaches and their families from communities across the province to Markham to participate in games from March 11 – 14.

This year’s tournament has the theme “Honouring Our Water,” and will see the largest number of competitors, including the highest number of female skaters, participating in its history. Homegrown celebrities and hockey greats alike will add their support to the tournament with appearances by retired NHL player and coach Ted Nolan, singer-songwriter Jully Black, and blues and country artist Crystal Shawanda. The Opening Ceremony co-hosts are Hockey Night in Canada’s Ron Maclean and Anthony Stewart.

“The Little NHL is thrilled to ring in the milestone of our 50th anniversary with thousands of young athletes and families together to play with pride and showcase their communities, and we are grateful to Hydro One for generously supporting this tradition that creates so many lasting memories and friendships,” said Chico Ralf, Acting President, Little Native Hockey League. “The Little NHL is more than just a hockey tournament; it is a symbol of unity, resilience, and cultural exchange.”

“Hydro One is excited to join Little NHL in celebrating their momentous 50th anniversary and in making this year the tournament’s best yet,” said Penny Favel, Vice President, Indigenous Relations, Hydro One. “The tournament will spotlight the skills of Indigenous athletes, coaches, and volunteers in the province while bringing the community together. I cannot wait to see the kids hit the ice, display their camaraderie and form lifelong friendships.”

“I’m very much looking forward to the 50th anniversary of the Little NHL tournament,” said Ron Maclean, Host, Hockey Night in Canada. “Richard Wagamese, the Ojibwe Canadian author, said, ‘A ceremony isn’t necessarily something you go to – it’s what you carry in you.’  My visits to the Little Native Hockey League, sitting with three generations of Cheechoo’s and Nolan’s, handing out awards with Elder Lloyd McGregor and President Marian Jacko, it all sits in me each time I reclaim myself before heading off to Hockey Night in Canada.”

The Little NHL tournament was created to foster inclusivity in hockey for Indigenous players and support communities and young players through safe play. The tournament will kick off with an Opening Day Festival, a free event open to Little NHL participants and invited guests at the Markham Civic Centre on Sunday, March 10, 2024, from 12 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. where games, rides, hockey shots, food, and live entertainment can be enjoyed. Tournament games will occur throughout the week across ten arenas in Markham with tickets available for purchase on-site. Scheduling and locations for each game can be easily found on the Little NHL app.

Through its community investment program, Hydro One focuses on building safe communities in Ontario, and directs at least 20 per cent of its corporate donations and sponsorships to Indigenous communities and initiatives that benefit Indigenous communities. The company also supports programs and initiatives that focus on safety training and safe play. Some of its partners include The ACT Foundation and Coaches Association of Ontario.

Hydro One Limited (TSX: H)

Hydro One Limited, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, is Ontario’s largest electricity transmission and distribution provider with approximately 1.5 million valued customers, approximately $32.8 billion in assets as at December 31, 2023, and annual revenues in 2023 of approximately $7.8 billion.

Our team of approximately 9,700 skilled and dedicated employees proudly build and maintain a safe and reliable electricity system which is essential to supporting strong and successful communities. In 2023, Hydro One invested approximately $2.5 billion in its transmission and distribution networks, and supported the economy through buying approximately $2.5 billion of goods and services.

We are committed to the communities where we live and work through community investment, sustainability and diversity initiatives.

Hydro One Limited’s common shares are listed on the TSX and certain of Hydro One Inc.’s medium term notes are listed on the NYSE. Additional information can be accessed at, or

For further information: Media can contact Hydro One Media Relations 24 hours a day at 1-877-506-7584 (toll-free in Ontario only) or 416-345-6868



NationTalk Partners & Sponsors Learn More