Sokaogon Chippewa Community News

Sokaogon Youth Allstars at NAIG

The North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) were held from July 15th through July 23rd in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Five Sokaogon youth competed, including Ryder Ackley, Brexden Kane, Samara Kane, Michael Quade and Ethan Thorbahn.

Last Friday, the Tribal Council hosted the athletes and their families at a dinner to honor their achievements. The Young Weber Drum Group opened the ceremony, and Chairman VanZile gave a prayer and recognition of the athletes and their family’s commitment.

“Tonight we are honoring our young people. They have done an awesome job, and it is a real honor and pleasure to recognize their achievements. It’s a pleasure to sit with them and their families for a meal together and recognize them in a good way,” said Chairman VanZile. Each athlete received a gift from the Tribal Council, and Chairman VanZile announced their area of competition.

Samara was unable to attend the dinner as she had to work, but the other athletes shared some of their experiences.

Ryder Ackley: 13 years old. Competed in Track & Field 14U. “My favorite parts were the people, how our Tribe was represented in another country, and how our culture was represented.”

Brexden Kane: 15 years old. Competed in Wrestling 19U. “My favorite part was being with my teammates.”

Michael Quade: 13 years old. Competed in Long Distance Running 14U. “My favorite experiences were meeting the different Tribes and learning more about them.”

Ethan Thorbahn: 18 years old. Competed in Wrestling. “My favorite part was wrestling, and I enjoyed visiting the city and swimming in the ocean.”


Thank you to Jeff Ackley for sharing these family photos:

The evening concluded with an Honor Song and attendees congratulating the athletes.

More information about NAIG may be found on their website at