Taryn Jacobs: An Indigenous Role Model In The Making
Jacobs, who is Anishinaabe from Walpole Island First Nation, Bkejwanong Territory, advanced this season to play for the PWHL’s Southwest Wildcats, which is the top Junior league in Ontario for women.
“My first year with Southwest is a season I’ll never forget,” said Jacobs. “I was nervous to make the jump to the PWHL back in August and September but after a bit of adjustment, I was able to hop right in. Playing in this league I can see how it’s helped me improve in all different aspects.”
Destined for the NCAA, Jacobs hopes that when other Indigenous athletes watch her play hockey, they see a trailblazer, and a role model. Someone they can look up to, who has reached a level they can aspire to reach.
“I want them to see that anyone can achieve anything when they put the work in,” she explained. “There aren’t many female Indigenous hockey players for upcoming players to follow. Bridgette Lacquette is the only Indigenous player on the women’s National team and she has really shown the younger hockey players what’s possible.”
Jacobs also looked up to another local Indigenous player, Kaitlyn Isaac of Walpole Island, who captained Team Ontario at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships, and who is now playing at the NCAA level with Cornell.
“Growing up, I looked up to Kaitlyn Isaac. The successes she made and her career in junior hockey really helped pave the path I realized I wanted to take. It’s great to be able to see an athlete accomplish their goals and even better when you’re able to watch a local one do so.”
Jacobs got to play alongside Isaac, and other top Indigenous hockey players from Ontario at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships, an experience she valued greatly.
“I’ve always loved to compete with other Indigenous athletes because I’m able to make connections from all over. It means a lot to me because I’m able to represent my community. They’ve helped me come to where I am, and continue to push me further. I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given to show what I can do.”
With much success behind her, there is more to come for this talented player, both in the PWHL, and at the post secondary level.
“One of my current goals is to continue to push myself playing in the PWHL. I’m striving to reach university level hockey and play the game for as long as I can.”