First Nations Olympian Brigette Lacquette arrives home to a warm welcome

It was a flurry of photographs and hugs as dozens of proud fans greeted Brigette Lacquette at the Winnipeg airport on Monday night.

A day after the closing ceremonies at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, Lacquette arrived home from her award-winning performance with Canada’s women’s hockey team.

Lacquette said she expected a few family and friends to meet her, but was surprised to see otherwise.

“I was warned, but I didn’t realize how many people were going to be here,” she told reporters. “It was definitely very special for me.”

The 25-year-old defence player brings home a silver medal after an upset 3-2 shootout loss to Team USA on Feb. 22.

Reflecting on the loss, Lacquette said it was a tough pill to swallow.

“We left it all out there,” she said. “Obviously it was very tough not to come back with the gold.”

Despite the loss Lacquette said playing in the Olympics was a ‘dream come true.’ Originally from the small community of Mallard, Man. Lacquette made history as the first First Nations woman to play for Canada’s Olympic hockey team.

An accomplishment she doesn’t take lightly.

“I feel like I’ve opened a lot of doors,” said Lacquette. “I feel like I’m that person, that role model for young girls across Canada [who] come from remote communities to be like, ‘you know what I can do that. I can do what Brigette did.’”

Kurtia Yetman is one of the many young girls who call Lacquette a role model. The 11-year-old, originally from the northern Manitoba community of Nelson House, has her eyes set on a few prizes, and says it’s all thanks to Lacquette.

“She’s my inspiration,” said Yetman. “I want to be on Team Canada. I want to be the second First Nations woman to play on Team Canada’s women’s team.”

In the meantime, Yetman was happy to get a hug and take a photo with Lacquette.

Lacquette’s parents were also on hand for the homecoming. Both her mother and father had to chance to travel to South Korea to watch their daughter play. Her father says the last month has been a whirlwind.

“It’s so hard mentally, emotionally and physically,” said Terance Lacquette.

“Just to have her home and relax for the next couple of days is going to be good for her and good for the family as well.”

Reporter / Winnipeg

Brittany joined the APTN news team in October 2016. She is Ojibway and a member of the Long Plain First Nation in Manitoba. Before coming to APTN, she graduated with a joint degree in communications from the University of Winnipeg and Red River College.

10 thoughts on “First Nations Olympian Brigette Lacquette arrives home to a warm welcome

  1. welcome back Brigette, glad your home safe and sound, have a good rest, you certainly deserve it =D

  2. Congratulations on your accomplishment! Woohooo, leading the way, I hope to shake ur hand one day 🙂

  3. Congrats brigette, Ive known your family a long time and even lived in Mallard for a month. Its inspiring and really awesome to see how far you have come. You deserve all the praise and acknowledgment from everyone as you really proved that hard work and dedication really pays off. Enjoy the spotlight and your days off as well. Much love and give your auntie, my bff a big hug for me too 🙂
    Danielle

  4. Congrats brigette, Ive known your family a long time and even lived in Mallard for a month. Its inspiring and really awesome to see how far you have come. You deserve all the praise and acknowledgment from everyone as you really proved that hard work and dedication really pays off. Enjoy the spotlight and your days off as well. Much love and give your auntie, my bff a big hug for me too 🙂
    Danielle

  5. Happy tears… everytime I see this wonderful young lady. So much pride she carries for not only Canada but for all Indigenous people’s everywhere. Way to go Bridgette. You are a national treasure.

  6. Actually Bobbi Auger played for the 1995 Team Canada. She had to withdraw for lack of support. She is there on the team roster.

  7. Happy tears… everytime I see this wonderful young lady. So much pride she carries for not only Canada but for all Indigenous people’s everywhere. Way to go Bridgette. You are a national treasure.

  8. Actually Bobbi Auger played for the 1995 Team Canada. She had to withdraw for lack of support. She is there on the team roster.

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