Today is International Women’s Day. Qikiqtani Inuit Association celebrates Inuit women on this day.

This year we feature Jordyn Malaya Machmer of Pangnirtung.

Hockey is big part of her family and Jordyn was already handling mini sticks before she could walk! At two years old she would gear up and tell her family, she’s going to go play hockey.

Jordyn started to learn to skate at the mere age of 3, by the time she was 5 years old she gained momentum and speed all on her own.

She officially started playing hockey at 5 years old. This achievement was all because of her tenacity and determination, as there were challenges, she faced in Pangnirtung. There is no artificial ice, and the arena only opens up during the cold weather season in late January and is open until April when early spring hits.

There aren’t too many coaches in Pangnirtung, every division plays on their own and not too many people volunteer to coach or do drills with the players.

Jordyn’s first ever tournament outside of Pangnirtung was when she went to Iqaluit for Toonik Tyme tournaments. And last month in February, Jordyn went to Ottawa to play with the U15 female hockey team. A week later she went to Yellowknife for training. Jordyn will be returning to Ottawa later this month to join the U19 female hockey team for another tournament.

In November 2022, she was invited to take part in the female AWG try-outs in Iqaluit, she was just eleven years old at that time. This gave her the opportunity to see and learn about hockey outside of Pangnirtung. Jordyn got selected to participate in the Arctic Winter Games, much to her parents’ amazement as she was playing against 19-year-olds.

Jordyn’s first AWG experience was in Wood Buffalo, Alberta in January 2023.

For her second AWG tryouts, she traveled to Iqaluit in November 2023 and was selected again to represent Nunavut at the games.

Despite all the setbacks, Jordyn has excelled! Both times she was selected for the games, she had not been on the ice yet that season in Pangnirtung. To get her game ready, her father David built a makeshift puck shooting area behind their house, complete with a hockey net and plastic or metal platform to practice her stick handling.

Besides her backyard practices, Jordyn keeps fit by running on the treadmill at home, goes to the school to lift weights 3 times a week, does various workouts and participates in school sports. The AWG coaches also assist her with sending her off ice work out plans.

Jordyn will be leaving for Alaska tomorrow March 9th to compete in the 2024 Arctic Winter Games.

Her parents Sheena and David can’t be prouder of their daughter – thinking of her accomplishments being achieved all because of her intense love for the game of hockey! That brings tears to her mom’s eyes as she looks at how hard her daughter works to be a good hockey player.

Jordyn is self motivated because she enjoys hockey so much and just within a year has gained much confidence and is less shy. She now sees the bigger picture of what is beyond “small town hockey” which has ignited her to push herself even harder and better as she is finally feeling challenged.

Her parents would like to thank anyone and everyone who has helped their daughter to come to this point. From her friends in Pangnirtung, her past and present teachers, her coaches, IAHA and family and friends who cheer her on!

Good luck to everyone in Alaska and Happy International Women’s Day!