By Sarah McCarthy
Dryden High School Student Justice Bruyere of Wabigoon Lake First Nation will be representing the region in the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) this summer in Toronto. Bruyere was the feature of the most recent Living Library at DHS for the month of May. The speaker’s friends and family were there to support her, as well as community members, staff and students all gathered last week to hear Bruyere’s story.
Bruyere tried out for the NAIG in Kenora for Wrestling and made the team earlier this year. She will be travelling to compete in Toronto this summer with other DHS students, Mandy Tourond (Basketball) and Tori Kelley (Soccer). Bruyere said she feels excited but it is also nerve wracking to know that you’re representing North Western Ontario in a sport.
Among the crowd at the Living Library was one of Bruyere’s biggest supporters and inspirations, wrestling coach at DHS and teacher Richard Walsh.
“If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be where I am today in my wrestling career. He gave me motivation to keep going and he told me when I was trying out for the games that I can do whatever I set my mind to.”
Bruyere has played a variety of sports while growing up including Hockey and Fastball, as well as Basketball on the Eagles team this year and she took up wrestling a few years into High School. The competitor claims that joining wrestling was one of the best decisions she has ever made. During Bruyere’s first year of Wrestling she made it as far as the provincial level.
The athlete has had an exciting year, as she graduated a semester early with three extra credits. Bruyere also talked about her future plans, as she will be attending Fanshawe College in London this fall for the Child and Youth worker program. But for right now Bruyere is focusing on the games this summer.
“To prepare for the games I will be going to a reserve by Kenora –White Dog to be coached by the wrestling coach of the NAIG. She is going to coach and train me to get me to where I have to be to compete.”
Bruyere also adds that meeting new people and just having the experience will be a highlight in its self at the North American Indigenous Games this summer in Toronto.