Just a kid from the rez, on the air



​Kiefer Collison describes his play-by-play style as “old-school goofy."

“I'm just calling what's happening on the floor but I throw in a lot of my rez humour and jokes. I really open myself up. I'm willing to take the punches and give them when I'm calling with somebody and I think people really resonate with that," Collison says.

The Haida radio personality, public speaker, emcee and former Big Brother Canada contestant says his favourite job of all is announcing the Junior All-Native Basketball Tournament. The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) is a proud sponsor of the tournament every year, seeing the value of basketball and communities coming together as core to the FNHA vision of healthy First Nations children and families.

“Kids are learning how to become adults here. They're learning how to take losses. They're learning how to take wins," says Collison. “So for the First Nations Health Authority to step in and really say we want to be a part of these events because we see the value in that, I think that's super inspiring."

Trevor Jang, a communications officer with the FNHA, joined Collison in the broadcast booth for the final two days of the tournament. Jang, from the Wet'suwet'en Nation, broadcasted the All-Native Basketball Tournament for five years with CFNR and has reported on the historical and cultural significance of the tournament for media outlets such as the CBC and the Walrus.

“As an Indigenous person who didn't grow up in my community or grounded in our teachings, the All-Native Basketball Tournament was my first re-introduction to First Nations culture as a young man. Through broadcasting and journalism I've had the honour and privilege of witnessing firsthand the power of hoops as a mechanism for Indigenous wellness and cultural resurgence," Jang says.

Celebrating his tenth year calling the games, Collison reflects on his journey into radio, reality TV fame and becoming the FNHA's first social media influencer. Through video and radio advertisements and other forms of endorsement such as for the FNHA's Urban and Away- From-Home program, Collison helps to carry the FNHA message of health and wellness to his many fans and followers online.

“Ten years ago I showed up on a whim to Prince Rupert for the All-Native Basketball Tournament, the adult one, hoping that CFNR would give me a chance. I was actually supposed to be on the ferry going home because I didn't have any money. But oddly enough, I won some money at the casino and ended up staying on my friend's floor. And that morning CFNR called me with a spot. The rest is history."

“It's been my dream since I was a kid. I always listened to the games back home on Haida Gwaii and I never wanted to be playing, I wanted to be announcing."

The 2024 Junior All-Native ran March 17 – 22 in Terrace, BC, hosted by the Nisga'a Nation. There were 85 teams across four divisions and more than 1,200 athletes from First Nations communities throughout BC, including Old Masset where Collison is from. In addition to his broadcasting duties, he coaches the U17 Old Masset boys' team which was eliminated on the fourth day of the five day tournament.

Bella Coola (Nuxalk Nation) repeated as champions of the U17 girls division and Syilx Nation won the U17 boys division. The U13 boys division was won by Ahousat while Gitlaxt'aamiks came out on top in the U13 girls division. The FNHA congratulates all of the players, coaches and fans who made the 2024 games a success no matter the standings.

The 2025 Junior All-Native will be hosted by the Syilx Nation in Kelowna next March.

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