A newly-drafted CFL player with roots in a Manitoba First Nation says he hopes to be a role model for aboriginal youth.
Tchissakid Player, who was born in Winnipeg and is a member of the Sagkeeng First Nation, was drafted by the B.C. Lions on Tuesday.
The First Nation says it believes Player is the first athlete from a Manitoba First Nation to be selected in the CFL draft.
The 22-year-old has been an offensive lineman with the Northwestern State University of Louisiana, and this year he graduated with a pre-law honours degree, according to the First Nation.
Player told CBC News he's excited to be coming back to Canada.
"I'm not going to try and be perfect. The best thing that I can do is to be real with the youth and just to tell them that, you know, you can follow your dreams, you can be whoever you want to be," he said Wednesday.
"It's not all about me, you know? It's all about the community, it's all about the culture, it's all about the people…. If I can be the pioneer in that, then by all means."
In 2013, Player won a Manitoba Aboriginal Youth Achievement Award in the sports category.
Below is a video showing his senior highlights:
- ON MOBILE? Watch the video here.