Aaron Derickson,

British Columbia

Aaron Derickson photo
Sport is a key to healthy living, both mentally and physically. Throughout my adult life I have sought to help and improve the lives of those around me. One of the most affective avenues that I have come across is sport. My name is Aaron Derickson, I am 29 years old and I want to make a difference in the lives of Aboriginal people. My Mom is Cree from Hobemma, Alberta and my Dad is Nscylxen; I, however, am a member of Westbank First Nation (WFN). I am syilx and I am Neheeo. I grew up in Westbank, BC on Westbank First Nation reserve. In high school I was on the basketball team and the cross country team. I graduated from Mount Boucherie Secondary with honors and went on to fulfill my post-secondary education. I graduated in 2009 from UBC-Okanagan with B.A., History Major, French Minor. In 2010 I graduated from UBC-Okanagan with a B.Ed, French specialty. I was hired by the local school district as a substitute teacher in 2009 and was recently was hired as full time teacher at my old high school, Mount Boucherie Secondary School (MBSS). During my days as a substitute teacher I filled my spare hours with a job in my community's (WFN) recreation department as a "Sports Programmer." I am an active member of my community and have worked in my community doing miscellaneous jobs and volunteering all throughout university; I also sit on the school board for my community's school.

Aaron's Acheivements
Youth mentor, BA Bed degrees, creator of the N7 Challenge, and assistant coach of the AAAA Mount Boucherie Basketball Team. He is currently writing curriculum about residential schools for the Okanagan Territory, which will be used to educate our youth and be implemented in the public school system.

Dano Thorne,

Kwa’liquinam: Somena Village Of Cowichan Tribes, Nez Perce Nation

Dano Thorne photo
Dano Thorne ‘s lifetime dedication to sport, recreation and physical activity, as an elite athlete, coach, wellness worker and administrator, has provided him with a thorough understanding of the Aboriginal, Canadian and North American sport & recreational systems. He is currently the youth program manager for the Fraser Region Aboriginal Friendship Centre Assn in Surrey, B.C. As a long time sport leader and programmer, he has held numerous positions with boards and committees for the holistic development of athletes, coaches and youth across North America. He has been an aboriginal advocate on the following boards & committees, Coaches Association of Canada, Athletes Can, NAIG Council, Team BC Chef De Mission, Aboriginal Sport Circle, CPRA, World Nations Games Society , Special Olympics North America and the Renowned Esteem Team. He has received many provincial and national awards for coaching and was the first recipient of the National Aboriginal Coach of the Year in 1999. Dano continues to be head coach and team leader of the elite NIFA ladies soccer team that competes internationally around the world.

Lauren Simeson,


Lauren Simeson photos
Lauren has an extensive background in athletics, and grew up playing competitive hockey and soccer. She competed for the Toronto Olympic Club in Cross-Country and Track & Field, where she was a member of the gold medal Junior team at the 2003 Canadian Championships. Lauren was awarded an athletic scholarship to Iona College in New Rochelle, NY where she was the captain of the Cross-Country and Track & Field teams for two consecutive years. She completed her B.A. in Political Science and History in 2007 at Iona College.

Lauren has extensive experience with sport and recreational programming, and brings tremendous knowledge in this area to the PLAY team. Lauren is responsible for all Sport For Development programs through the PLAY program. Playing a significant role in the development of the Hockey For Development and Lacrosse For Development programs,

Lauren is responsible for working with field staff to design, coordinate and implement a variety of sport clinics in First Nations across the province