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Sask. First Nation youth honoured by his community after helping Canada win lacrosse championship

Brody McLeod received a warm welcome back to Saskatchewan after returning home from Australia, where he competed at the Commonwealth Cup — an international junior lacrosse competition. 

McLeod travelled overseas with the Canada Lacrosse League for the competition held for athletes, ages 21 and under, from Feb. 17-20, 2024. 

The 16-year-old athlete scored two goals in the final game, helping Canada clinch the championship with a 15-6 win against Australia. 

When McLeod arrived at the Saskatoon airport on Feb. 24, he was surprised to see a crowd cheering for him as he walked through the sliding doors.

“It felt welcoming,” McLeod said. “At first I only saw my mom, but once I got down the escalator I saw everyone.”

A drum group played an honour song for McLeod and he was gifted a star blanket and eagle feather by David Pratt, who is a vice-chief with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations. 

Chief John Waditika of the Wahpeton Dakota First Nation, McLeod’s home community, was also there with the supportive group. 

“It felt amazing coming home to all that, coming home to the singers welcoming me home — and hugging my mom, like I missed her.”

A family are hugging in the airport after being apart for some time.
Brody McLeod was greeted by his mother and sister after being gone for 11 days to Australia to represent Canada in the junior commonwealth lacrosse games. (submitted by Beverley Waditaka)

McLeod’s mother, Carmen Fourstar, said it was a surprise for her to see how many people came to the airport to show support for her son. 

“I just shared his picture on Facebook and wrote that all family is welcome…he’s landing tomorrow. It would be nice if you guys could join us.” 

Fourstar said it was also nice to see First Nations leadership there, wearing their bonnets, among the group.That made it feel very special, she said. 

A team photo of the Canadian junior lacrosse team.
The athletes are pictured after winning the champion game (IIJL/ Canadian Lacrosse League )

McLeod said that he was motivated to try out for the team after his adopted brother made it through try outs. 

When he got the news that he had made the team, McLeod could hardly believe it. 

“It feels good because never in my life have I thought I would play for [this team]…to travel the world to play the game of lacrosse.” 

McLeod said he feels good about being on the team and their big win. He’s already looking ahead to next year.

“I hope I get chosen to go again.” 

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