My name is Tessa Breaker. I come from the Stoney Nakoda and Siksika Nations. I grew up in Morley, but went to school in Exshaw and am currently in Grade 12 at Canmore Collegiate High School.
I started playing hockey when I was twelve years old. That year I didn’t make the Bantam team. Instead, I was put into Peewee. That whole Peewee year, I trained really hard. My dad helped me train every night. He took me to practice at outdoor rinks and we worked on my skills. We practiced a lot! Some weekends, I would skate for the entire day on the lake by my house in Morley. I would skate for seven or more hours, only stopping to eat. All the hard worked paid off.
The next year, I made the Bantam team in Cochrane! I scored lots of goals and my points average was consistently going up. The next year, I played on teams in Strathmore and Siksika. By my third year, I was dominating, and this year I finished as top scorer on my Siksika team. I also started my Junior debut as an underage Junior player in a March Madness Tournament in Siksika.
This Spring, I was selected to play in the Oskana Cup, a tournament for Indigenous athletes that is hosted in Saskatchewan. It has just recently been opened up to female athletes and on May 3-5th I got to represent Piikani Nation, a Blackfoot Team. Even though our team lost in the semis, it was an awesome experience and great for my development. We had a lot of fun playing together for the first time and went home with a bronze medal.
Hockey has become a big part of my life and has helped me reach my goals by giving me motivation and confidence. When I’m not playing hockey, I volunteer my time to work at the daycare in Morley and to be a mentor and support at Canmore Collegiate for Grade 8 Indigenous students.
I am lucky to have wonderful parents who take me to practices every day, drive me across Alberta and pay for all my hockey fees. Even with that support, transportation to hockey has always been a challenge for me and my family, since I live so far away from all the teams I have played for. Siksika is quite a long drive from Morley (2.5 hours). I am so grateful for the Rocky Mountain Soap bursary - I will be putting it towards covering the cost of transportation to practices and tournaments.
After I graduate from high school, I hope to head to university to pursue biology or education and continue to play hockey wherever I go. I hope that by playing competitive hockey, graduating high school and going on to university that I can be a role model who inspires other young girls in my community to get involved in sport and finish school.