Mi’kmaw from Membertou First Nation
Krista Hodder is an Indigenous woman from Membertou First Nation, located in the heart of Unama’ki, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. She lives in her community with her two children. Krista began her career as a Child and Youth Worker, when she discovered her passion for sport, recreation and physical activity as a means to keep her community active, healthy and safe. She was the Mi’kmaw Physical Activity Coordinator for Membertou for eight years, beginning in 2013. It was in this role that she grounded and developed herself and her priorities.
While working with her community, Krista worked with other Indigenous Communities to develop a developmental snowboard program designed to assist Indigenous youth to break down the barriers. The program saw as many as 400 youth come through the doors, with many going off to become snowboard instructors, giving back to the program that has gotten them started.
As a hockey mom, Krista noted the discrepancies in opportunities for females to have a safe, supportive spaces to develop skill and build the love of the game. Working with stakeholders, Krista assisted in developing the Indigenous Girls Hockey Program, running for 10 weeks out of her home arena. The program provided gear and weekly practices. Most participants returned year after year, which has also given a boost to the local female hockey association.
Some notable awards and recognition that Krista has seen include being named to the 2016 Most Influential Women in Sport and Physical Activity in Canada list, as the overall woman in the Builders category by Canadian Women and Sport. Krista has also been included in a timeline of Influential Women in the Public Service Sector, a national timeline featuring over 150 women from the 1600s to today, compiled by Canada's School of Public Service. In 2020, Krista was honored with the title of Hockey Canada's champion for the month of June.
After many great years serving her community, Krista took a leap of faith, and a new title. She is now the Senior Coordinator of Programs and Events with the Aboriginal Sport Circle – Canada’s national voice for Aboriginal sport, physical activity and recreation, with her focus being on developing, supporting and delivering sport programs for Indigenous athletes across the country, providing opportunities and spaces for Indigenous youth to thrive in their sport.
Photo 1 (winter photo): Krista participating in a walking meeting with the Active Cape Breton Communities Group. Photo Credit: Wayne McKay
Photo 2 (profile): Krista smiles while discovering an eagle feather during a recreation meeting. Photo Credit: Jeannine Denny