Upon graduating from the University of Manitoba, Don Jacks [B.F.A., Hons/06] worked as a student recruiter for two years, but his passion has always been playing lacrosse. Now, he’s recruiting young Indigenous athletes to the sport through Youth1st Lacrosse.
Jacks has been playing lacrosse for 25 years, representing Canada on the national level on numerous occasions. He also served as the executive director for the Manitoba Lacrosse Association from 2010 to 2016.
During his time with the association, Jacks began working with the Dakota Ojibway Police Service, delivering lacrosse workshops for six different Indigenous communities.
While offering these lessons, he saw a need for better-designed recreational programming in Manitoba’s Indigenous communities.
“[The Dakota Ojibway Police Service] has a cadet program and they run recreational activities, and I started working with them that way,” Jacks says. “I started making a lot of contacts through the communities, and I got to the point where I said, OK, I can go out there and just start teaching lacrosse on my own.”