Q: Hello Laz, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
A: My name is Lazarus Constant, and I was born February 19th, 2005 ( I was the Trapper's baby). I reside on the Opaskwayak Cree Nation. I love hunting wild game, hockey, basketball and volleyball. My hobbies are dog sledding and running a trap line with my father.
Q: For such a young person to be so highly involved in our communities is amazing! What drives you to keep so busy?
A: I have been told I have an old soul, I come from a long line of trappers and fishermen who have taught me to care for land and be involved with as much as I can in the community. I race in the dog sled events during Trapperss Festival , play as much hockey as I can at both the local rinks, and enter both the Trappers' and Indian Days traditional events. You will also see me dressed up cheering for our local hockey teams. I'm very lucky for my parents' support and they encourage me to try everything and provide me with the opportunity.
Q: Have there been any challenges that you've personally had to overcome?
A: Seven years ago I was hit by a drunk driver while playing in my aunt's yard down in Winnipeg. I suffered many injuries and major head injury, making it harder for me to concentrate on my school work or missing school or hockey for medical appointments. Luckily, I'm alive and have some great people that take great care of me.
I also lost both my grandfathers in the last 6 months. It's been hard but everyday I try and thank the Lord for another great day and make it special like they both would have: by either chopping up some dogfood for my race dogs or catching a fish from our own river for supper.
Q: You're highly involved with hockey. Can you tell us a bit about the places you've been in your hockey career?
A: When I was a Novice we travelled to Edmonton to a tournament which we placed second. This past Atom season I travelled to Winnipeg a few times, Regina, Saskatoon, Prince Albert, Dauphin, Portage and many other Manitoban locations. Throughout the season we won 5 Gold, 2 Silver and a participation with a Bronze in Provincials.
One of the biggest highlights was this past summer, when I travelled to Canmore, AB for a 10 day training camp before travelling to Central Europe. We got to play in Germany, Austria, Czech Republic and Italy. We placed second in both tournaments and I received an award for being top scoring defenceman. It was truly a trip of a lifetime and I'm so thankful for hockey taking me to another part of the world to represent our country. I get to play the game I love so much!
Q: In your personal opinion, of what importance is community support for you?
A: Without the support of our communities I wouldn't be able to go to so many tournaments or wouldn't have been able to travel to Europe as so many people purchased raffle tickets, donated money and gave words of support. I know when I'm am adult I'll also make sure to support our local youth just like all of you are continuing to support me.
Q: We wish you the absolute best of luck, it was really great hearing what you had to say. Do you have any final words?
A: Thank you to everyone in my home of OCN and The Pas for continuing to support with my hockey dream. I hope to someday playing for our country again in World Juniors, as well as my other goal of becoming a World Champion dog sled racer. I'm currently 7th in the World Junior race.