Indigenous History Month - Dominick Chowace

June 21, 2024

Dominick Chowace learned to skate at age 2 and started playing hockey at age 4. He began his minor hockey journey with the Brockville Jr Braves IP Program, then making the jump to the Rideau St. Lawrence Kings three years ago, spending last season playing on their U12 AA team.

Dom is Cree and a proud member of the Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation in Northern Alberta. Born in Smiths Falls, Dom resided in Alberta for a short period of time but returned to Ontario with his mother and older sibling at the young age of 4, after his father (also Cree and member of the Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation) passed away unexpectedly.

Upon their return to Ontario, his mother has made it her mission to continue to educate and share the Cree traditions and bring awareness of Truth and Reconciliation to her community. In this past season Dom and his Rideau St. Lawrence Kings team participated in the Orange Jersey Project to recognize not only Dom, but his late father, and his entire Cree family.

In celebration of Indigenous History Month, we asked Dom five questions about hockey and his Indigenous heritage. See what he had to say below.


Q: How did you get into hockey? What has been your proudest moment to date?

A: I started skating when I was two and then my mom put me into IP with the Brockville Timbits when I was 4. My mom plays and so did my dad, so they made sure I started as early as I could.

My proudest moment aside from making RSL Kings AA is being asked to play in a Prospects All Star Challenge this July for Team Canada. It’s so hard to pick just one thing because I’m also so proud every time I play in an Indigenous tournament.


Q: What is your goal for yourself in your hockey career?

A: My goal is to play at the highest level I can. It would very cool to play for a D1 school. I would like to keep playing in Indigenous tournaments and make the Ontario Indigenous hockey team to play in the 2027 North American Indigenous Games in Alberta. 


 Q: Who do you look up to as a role model?

A: There are lots of NHL players that I like, but I wouldn’t say that they are role models for me. Coach Doug (Doug Andress) is a role model for me though. He has coached me for many years and he loves teaching kids to play hockey and he is really good at it. He teaches me hockey skills but also to be a good person. Coach Doug played for Ohio State University, and he also played professionally in Germany.


Q: Can you provide a little bit of background on you and your family’s indigenous heritage?

A: I am Cree from Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation in Alberta. Although I have never lived on Territory, a lot of my family does. Because it’s so far away, I try to keep connected to my culture here by playing with different Ontario and Quebec Indigenous communities. I have made many friends this way and I am able to follow some traditions even if they aren’t Cree. My mom also takes me to local Powwow every year.


 Q: In your opinion, how could the hockey community work on becoming more inclusive?

A: I think that associations could do a better job at trying to recruit Indigenous players who live in their communities. I will be working with an Indigenous trainer this summer, but it would be cool if there was an all Indigenous hockey camp I could go to where I skated with kids who look like me.



For more information on the Orange Jersey Project’s mission to education athletes about Truth and Reconciliation through sports, please visit their website.

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