Gabrielle Senft has a lot on the way.
In recent years, she has had to juggle a professional rugby career, earn her degree from the University of Victoria and reconnect with her Metis heritage.
Originally from Regina, her great-great-grandmother Justine Cardinal was born in St. Laurent and baptized by Louis Riel. Her parents were from the Red River Settlement, now Winnipeg, but Senft and her parents grew up relatively unaware of their Metis legacy because Cardinal never spoke of it. Senft still doesn’t know which band she belonged to.
Senft began researching with her mother and began the process (a long process, she said) to get her status card, which she got five years ago.
“It’s still a little sensitive to talk about in our family, but my mom and I kind of went our separate ways to try to find out our history and what our tribe was like and went to libraries to pick up old newspapers or family stuff. find what we could find. essentially find. So it has been quite neat, but also a lot to learn and know.”
Senft said she didn’t mind announcing it, but then her teammates realized they supported it.
“Of course, with everything that’s happening in the world right now – in Canada – we’re getting more recognition and recognition from indigenous peoples, which is great. In Saskatchewan I grew up in it a bit but then again it was still very removed from my upbringing which makes me really sad and a bit lost and disconnected.
Senft hopes she can visit members of the Metis nation in Winnipeg and reconnect with her heritage in the future, though she likely has a busy schedule ahead of her. She has traveled between Victoria for many years completing college semesters and seasons of professional rugby with teams in England and Australia.
Senft made her Canada debut in 2018 against England and has since played for the national team 10 times, most recently in their Pacific Four Series 22-10 win against Australia on June 18. and concentrate on preparations with her teammates.
“We have a great summer of ball centralization and a lot of girls who sacrifice and commit to the team. Maybe that means not working and that’s what it’s like sometimes to be a female athlete. But we’re all committed to the whole summer to be together. So we have a week off and will train full-time again in the run-up to the World Cup.”
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