Team Indigenous at the Roller Derby World Cup in Manchester, England, in February 2018. Photo: Team Indigenous
Canada | Sports | World

Team of indigenous women competes for first time in world roller derby

A group of indigenous women from Canada, the United States, New Zealand and other countries competed in the 2018 Roller Derby World Cup last month.

Team Indigenous was the first of its kind to participate, The New York Times reported. Though the women didn't advance to the finals, their message of self-determination resonated with other players and fans at the event in England, the paper said.

“We skate to honor all those women who never found this strong, revolutionary sport, as their lives were cut short,” Melissa Waggoner, a co-founder of the team, told the crowd as she read from a mission statement, the paper reported. “We skate to bring more indigenous women to this sport, to provide a space of solidarity, strength and love.”

Team Indigenous, which consists of 20 members, placed 27th out of 38 at the tournament, according to the results. The women lost to Italy but picked up a win against Iceland on the first day. They ended up losing to the Netherlands and to Denmark on the second and third days of the cup.

The champions hailed the U.S., according to the results. Waggoner, who is Navajo, used to play for USA Roller Derby before she started Team Indigenous, The Times reported.

"We are a part of and we are not a part of the nations that are colonizing us and we wanted to bring recognition to that and recognition to the fact that we're still here and we're strong," Jen Bennett , who is Wikwemikong from Canada, told CBC News. "And we love this sport."

Read More on the Story:
‘Decolonizing’ Roller Derby? Team Indigenous Takes Up the Challenge (The New York Times March 6, 2018)
How Team Indigenous is Decolonizing Roller Derby (Colorlines March 6, 2018)
Team Indigenous takes message to Roller Derby World Cup (CBC February 8, 2018)