Ditnikwun (Dakleh for Thunderfire) went to California last week, a goal the group had been working towards for months.
The group spent five days down there and competed in friendly competition against the Soboba First Nation Tribe of San Jacinto, California.
In three different events, golf, fastball and volleyball, Ditnikwun played off against the Sobobans of Los Angeles.
Leon Erickson, team leader described some of the action:
“The first event saw a co-ed fastball game between the Soboba All-Stars and Ditnikwun. Each team sent six male and three female players onto the field. Team Soboba traded a full line up during the game against Ditnikwun. Ditnikwun was winning the game one-nothing until the third inning when Soboba pulled ahead. The final score was Soboba 10, Ditnikwun, three.”
“They were just too strong,” said Eric Sam.
The second day saw Team Ditnikwun play four golfers against Soboba’s golfers in a team match play.
With an average low score of 42 (Darren Thomas lead all golfers with a 40), Team Ditnikwun was simply amazed at playing on the PGA-stop golf course and the amazing scenery.
“I have never played on such an awesome golf course – ever,” said Logan Erickson.
The sport event was completed by a co-ed volleyball tournament.
The six team double knockout tournament allowed for team Ditnikwun to divide into two teams. Team Ditnikwun and Team Thunderfire.
Team Ditnikwun – Cody Thomas, Darren Thomas, Lisa Spingle, Candace Erickson, Leah Erickson, Morgan Richards and Chuck Prince came second losing only in the final match against their ‘teammates’ Thunderfire – Leon Erickson, Logan Erickson, Eric Sam, Brandon Pius, Kristi Howell and Kristen Sam who went undefeated throughout the tournament.
“Your volleyball program is strong,” said Soboba Host Andy Silvas.
Team Ditnikwun then presented gifts to their hosts for inviting them to the event. Erickson and th group thanked the Sobobans by singing a few Carrier songs for them at the closing ceremonies.
On day three, Ditnikwun spent the day at Disneyland and California Adventure. The team was simply awed by the theme parks.
On day four, Team Ditnikwun went to Venice Beach, Rodeo Drive, The Hollywood sign and Hollywood walk of stars on a chartered tour bus.
“I think the scariest thing was finding out there was a tarantula infestation at our bungalows on the first night we stayed in California,” said Leon Erickson.
The Sobobans wish to send an envoy to Fort St. James in the near future, wishing to try a taste of our hospitality and to see snow and ice (not just in a cup).
All in all, a successful trip for the Fort St. James cultural sports team Ditnikwun.
To travel and play with Team Ditnikwun, participants do not have to be Nak’azdli Band members or good at a certain sport.
“We require three things for persons to be on the team: One, you want to travel, two, you are willing to sing the Carrier songs at events and three, you are willing to put in the effort required to participate in the activities and preparation,” said Erickson.
“This team is about exposing our community members to the world, allowing people to realize the world does not end in Prince George or Edmonton or Vancouver,” he said. “We want people to know that dreams can be accomplished with a little help and some hard work”.
Team Ditnikwuns will be be open for new members in the near future and destinations can be decided upon at team meetings.
For more information contact Leon Erickson 996-6866.