A young Mi'kmaqs baseball dream

A young Mi’kmaqs baseball dream

A young Mi'kmaqs baseball dream

Payton Sanipass is one of the many promising young players in the Moncton AA Mudcats baseball program. The 15-year-old Mi’kmaw is aiming for an invitation to an American college one day to see how far the sport can take him.



Payton Sanipass has a good start to the season with the Moncton U18 Mudcats.


© Guy Leblanc / Radio-Canada
Payton Sanipass has a good start to the season with the Moncton U18 Mudcats.

The COVID-19 pandemic almost ruined his dream. The sanitary measures imposed by New Brunswick public health has complicated sports education for more than a year.

I was even going to quit hockey and really play baseball», Launches Payton Sanipass. But after COVID, my motivation was down. All national competitions in addition to tournaments have been canceled.

These events are often an opportunity for young people to get to know each other.



Payton Sanipass takes a break, before a pitch.  The mental aspect of the game fascinates him.


© Guy Leblanc / Radio-Canada
Payton Sanipass takes a break, before a pitch. The mental aspect of the game fascinates him.

The business is picking up speed and Payton hopes it will work in his favor. Because on a baseball diamond, the young man feels happy and likes the challenge of the sport.

On the mound, for example, he is facing a mess he wants to take out. Trust is as important as athletics.

Proud of the origin

He grew up in Saint-Antoine, east of New Brunswick, and now lives in Dieppe, but Payton is also a proud Mi’kmaw athlete.

Furthermore, the National Indigenous History Month, which ends June 30, inspires her.

It’s just, to be very proud to be who I am, proud to be Mik’maq, and not be afraid to show it», He mentions. He wants to write his own story this way, no matter what happens.

I like to represent the natives, Mi’kmaq, by playing baseball. There are no major Mi’kmaw players playing baseball hereHe adds.

Sportsman, from father to son

Her father is Everett Sanipass from Elsipogtog Mi’kmaq First Nation. The former National Hockey League player played in 164 games with the Quebec Nordiques and Chicago Blackhawks (of which he was the first pick in 1986).



Everett Sanipass played professional hockey from 1987 to 1993 with Chicago, Quebec, Indianapolis, Saginaw and Halifax.


© NB Hall of Fame
Everett Sanipass played professional hockey from 1987 to 1993 with Chicago, Quebec, Indianapolis, Saginaw and Halifax.

Everett owns a restaurant in the community Elsipogtog. The father gave some advice to his son if he wanted to advance his athletic career.

Work out first in the gym, then socialize with people who are not going to bring you down and who have the same goals as you. Because if they have the goals, you will match the bestAdds Payton Sanipass.



Payton Sanipass, during a batting exercise.


© Ian Bonnell / Radio-Canada
Payton Sanipass, during a batting exercise.

However, it is not always easy to be proud of the heritage and the roots. Racism is present in sports, although we like to say that sports bring people together.

Payton has heard racist epithets and lived through times of division. He chose to stand, but it still makes him think.

I do not like to hear it because I know that there are members of my family who will be offended. It hurts me, it hurts me.

Sometimes racism is in the second degree, in the unspoken or when the back is turned, he says.

It was racism, much more in hockey than in baseball», Tells Payton Sanipass. In baseball, there was more respect. But still, there were places with some coaches where you could tell that something was going on.

The teenager knows that not everything is dark. The silver lining is the victory of Elsipogtog First Nation in Hockeyville National Competition. The renovation project the social arena received the most votes in the country.

He also knows that he is well surrounded by his teammates. In the Mudcats team, we love his smile, his zest for life. He is the coach’s joy because of the discipline.

Payton Sanipass hopes the effect of the pandemic will subside and return to normal. And let’s all agree. I’m happy.

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