Native basketball tournament bars player who lacks Indian blood

The All Native Basketball Tournament is underway in Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Photo from Council of the Haida Nation / Facebook

A member of the Heiltsuk First Nation in British Columbia as been barred from the annual All Native Basketball Tournament because he lacks Indian blood, CBC News reports.

Josiah Wilson, 20, was born in Haiti and grew up on the reserve after he was adopted as an infant. He is considered an "Indian" under the Indian Act but the tournament said all players must possess at least one-eighth Indian blood in order to compete.

"It hurts. It hurts. I've been part of the Heiltsuk tribe. I've lived up in Bella Bella, I've played basketball with the team, engaged with the community," Wilson told CBC. "Now this All Native committee is telling me I'm not native at all. I'm like, 'What?' I'd say [it's] racist."

Wilson has played in the tournament before but this year was the first time that someone raised concerns about his race, CBC reported.

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