Iroquois Roots Rugby youth league joins Canada Rugby League

SIX NATIONS OF THE GRAND RIVER – The Canada Rugby League Association (CRLA) and Iroquois Roots Rugby are pleased to announce today a new collaboration for youth that builds off of the success to date of this important Indigenous program.

As of today, Iroquois Roots Rugby’s age 4-12 youth program becomes a recognized club of the Canada Rugby League Association. Iroquois Roots runs a number of youth teams and camps, introducing the sport to children, and using sport to teach important lifelong values. Iroquois Roots has also established an outreach program to Indigenous reserves across Eastern Canada.

On today’s announcement, Melanie Squire, Co-founder of Iroquois Roots said “This partnership comes at an integral time for our Mini Rugby program, which continues to grow exponentially. The support of the CRLA will have a profound impact on our organization, and in turn, help us continue offering rugby in under-served areas in Canada.”

John Cameron, President of CRLA added “we are delighted to welcome the Iroquois Roots and their over 75 youth participants to our family. Growing rugby league from young (Juniors) to young at heart (Masters) is a key part of our long-term development as a governing body for the sustainability and growth of the sport in Canada. More importantly, what Mel and her team have done for the sport amongst Indigenous youth is an important example of the Truth and Reconciliation’s Call to Action in practice – and part of the broader journey of our coming to terms with Canada’s past,” he added. 

Iroquois Roots Youth registration takes place later this spring, with a full summer calendar planned. The CRLA will also be working with its domestic leagues, Rugby League BC (RLBC) and the Ontario RL (ORL) in launching four U-17 teams, which will compete in a national championship this fall.