By Fatima Arkin - Monday, December 10, 2012 - 0 Comments
Dave Dupuis may be the first Inuit ever to play college hockey south of the border
Growing up in Kuujjuaq, Nunavik, Dave Dupuis had never heard of college hockey. Now, at the age of 21, he is one of the first–if not the first–Inuit to play hockey for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). His path to playing college hockey in the U.S. wasn’t easy. The rigours of academia and two concussions presented challenges. But he stuck it through and is set to graduate next year with a bachelor degree in business and management from Skidmore College, one of the most selective academic institutions in North America.
Dupuis, who was recently profiled in the New York Times, took a break from studying for finals and spoke to Maclean’s about why “ugly goals” are better than “pretty goals,” on being a role model and how to open doors for Inuit kids in the future.
Q: You’ve been playing hockey since you were 3-years-old. How did you get into the game?
A: My father played when he was younger. He was a speed skater, but he knew hockey, and my siblings and I got on skates pretty early. There was never any organized hockey [in Kuujjuaq]. We played maybe one tournament per year for all the different age groups.
Q: Speaking of your dad, I heard that he helped build an indoor ice rink in Kuujjuaq in the 1990s.
A: Yes. He was president of the regional government at the time. It was in the plans to get a hockey rink and a gymnasium built.
Q: As a result, some pretty famous NHL players, like Hall of Fame defenseman Larry Robinson, started showing up.