My name is Julie Desrochers and I am Métis from a small French community called Saint-Boniface which runs along the banks of the Red River right at the heart of Winnipeg, Manitoba. My aboriginal roots come from the Chippewa people, who lived in the old Northwest territories (Today: Louisiana/ Minnesota/Michigan Area).

Julie Desrochers
Winnipeg, MB

My name is Julie Desrochers and I am Métis from a small French community called Saint-Boniface which runs along the banks of the Red River right at the heart of Winnipeg, Manitoba. My aboriginal roots come from the Chippewa people, who lived in the old Northwest territories (Today: Louisiana/ Minnesota/Michigan Area).

I have not always been connected to my Métis and aboriginal roots growing up but have come to realize that they are a very valuable part of who I am today.

I come from a family of six, having 3 younger sisters; I have always had to take on a certain leader type role growing up. I loved to play several different sports as well as dance as I grew up. Throughout middle and high school I was involved in basketball, badminton, tap dance and ice hockey.

Since I was very little, my dad used to make me and my sisters our own skating rink in our backyard and we would use it almost every day. I worked on my skating for several years before I tried out for my very first hockey team. I played organized hockey for the first time when I was 11. Playing on a team where all the other girls had been playing the sport for several years already was tough. I had a lot of catching up to do. Once I fell in love with the sport, I realized that playing hockey at higher levels was something I wanted to do. The amount of work I had to put in to catch up to the other players in terms of skills and strength was tremendous however I got there and then even past them.

Since, I have played on many elite teams. I played several years at the AA level and then was selected to play for the very first female AAA hockey team in Winnipeg called the Avro’s; I have also played representing Winnipeg at the Manitoba Winter games in 2010, and have been chosen to compete at the national level where I have been playing for the Métis and aboriginal Team Manitoba for four years now and have competed in the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships four times coming out with one gold medal and then as captain lead my team to a bronze medal just last year. This year, in May will be my fifth NAHC and I hope our team will come out on top.

Playing at an elite level has not always been easy it takes a lot of time and effort. Not only to get better as an athlete but I have also been working at the Saint-Boniface museum for several years earning money to help pay for my hockey expenses.

As of today I am a Student at the University of Manitoba, finishing a degree in Arts where I Major in French and Minor in History, I plan to go into education.

 

Teaching and mentoring youth is a passion of mine, not only through my work but through sports as well. I now coach several hockey teams and am involved with many hockey schools. My goal now is to help youth realize their potential and help them pursue their dreams and do the things they love to do, just as I did. 

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