About Tribal Dreams

Tribal Dreams is a not-for-profit initiative founded by two stand-out university athletes: Leroy Fontaine, a linebacker from Fort Mcmurray, Alberta and Dathan Thomas, a running back from Edmonton, Alberta. The program aims to build strong character and a positive attitude in order to make dreams possible. Through developing and implementing sustainable athletic camps, we hope to inspire each participating youth to live a healthy and active lifestyle while pursuing their individual goals. Tribal Dreams strives to show Aboriginal youth that the valuable skills and confidence instilled through sport will transfer to life off the field.

Mission Statement:
Through athletics we will motivate and inspire Aboriginal youth to pursue their dreams. We will provide a fun-filled environment in order to instill the positive attributes of sport.

Meet The Team

Superstar Support!

These star athletes, prominent community members, (and all-around amazing human beings) have joined in support of our cause! These individuals believe in what we're trying to do and are helping along the way! Thanks people, the help is needed and greatly appreciated!

Dathan Thomas
Coach / co-founder

I believe that athletics and team sports such as football can change lives in great ways. The ideals football instills in youth is invaluable. While promoting a healthy, active lifestyle, athletics also creates a way out of, or away from a life of crime, the confidence to make the right decisions, a safe place to go and positive activities to focus on. Through athletics I have experienced the importance of determination, the gratification of overcoming adversity, and that any dream can be achieved with enough hard work. With the Tribal Dreams program I hope to instill these ideals within today's aboriginal youth population.

Off-Field Experience:
Dathan Thomas also has extensive experience working with at-risk youth in both Edmonton and Saskatoon. Dathan has spent time Volunteering with the IHuman society in Edmonton, where youth needing a safe place to be are welcome to spend time doing anything from finding a place to eat and doing homework, to artistic design and music production. Dathan has also spent a couple years while attending University as a youth care worker at The Ranch Ehrlo society near Saskatoon, this was a group home setting where high-risk youth up to the age of 17 lived everyday life, including attending school. Dathan has also volunteered his time raising money for Cancer research with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies "Play for a Cure" program, and also spent time with the SPCA walking rescued dogs that were up for adoption in Saskatoon's "Pets in the park".

On-Field Experience: 19 Years of football

  • 7 Years Edmonton Seahawks (Rookie of the Year, 1st ever Alberta Peewee Provincial Champ, 4 Years as Team Captain, Team MVP, Most Valuable Offensive Player)
  • 2 Years M.E. Lazerte Highschool (Team Captain)
  • 1 Year Ross Sheppard (Team Captain, Headhunter Award)
  • 4 Years Edmonton Huskies (2 National Championships, 3 years Team Captain, Team MVP, Most Valuable Back, 2005 National Championship MVP, Intergold National Semi-Final MVP)
  • 4 Years University of Saskatchewan. (2 Years as Team Captain, Team MVP, Offseason Dedication Award, Ranked #1 Fullback by TSN in 2010 CFL Draft)
  • (1 Year Div 1. Flag football Edmonton Rebels.)

Volunteer Work:

  • IHuman (ihuman.org) - Supporting youth at risk in Edmonton through arts programming.
  • SPCA - Volunteered for the SPCA to walk dogs up for adoption in Saskatoon's "Pets in the park"
  • Coached youth football camps with the University of Saskatchewan.
  • Cancer - Fundraised with the Saskatchewan Huskies "Play for a Cure" for cancer research.
  • Ranch Erhlo - Worked in a group home for high risk youth as a youth care worker.

Leroy Fontaine
Coach / co-founder

As an Aboriginal child growing up on the reserve I have witnessed and experienced many negative things in my own personal life and with loved ones. Over the years I have learned that regardless of the obstacles being faced, the world is what we make it and what we want it to be, it's filled with endless possibilities. Learning to create dreams, chase it, and to fulfill it was the single most influential attribute that made me who I am today. I have learned this through the power of sport, and more specifically, the power of football. The positive attributes gained from playing and coaching the game of football sparked a deep desire to personally reach out and ignite the passion for athletics and education within the next generations of Aboriginal youth. My aim is to help unlock the inner potential of Aboriginal youth by giving to them what was given to me when I was in need, inspiration to pursue your true happiness, your dreams.

Off-Field Experience:
Fontaine's passion has always been about helping those who are in need, giving a helping hand is something he always felt was necessary. Without the helping hand of others while growing up, the successes in his life wouldn't have been possible. He understands the importance of volunteering and what having a genuine attitude towards others can do. In recent years it has been his own personal goal and challenge to see how many people he could help through volunteer initiatives, he never thought to be selfish as to say no to those who needed that assistance. Some of his most memorable initiatives included giving back to his own community over the years in such forms as; speaking to the youth about the importance of education, running football camps and other athletic events for young aspiring athletes, and sharing his knowledge about pursuing dreams to the fullest.

In this same manner Leroy has had positive experiences and relationships with other Aboriginal communities besides his own. Indian Brook and Mill Brook First Nations of Nova Scotia also gave him the opportunity to set up football camps and speak to the youth about positivity while overcoming life's challenges. Leroy has always had a soft spot for all Aboriginal youth and the struggles they face.

The Fort McMurray Football Association whom had given him the opportunity to excel in his sport, also worked alongside Fontaine throughout the course of his career to pass down knowledge to the next generations of local talent. The powerful mutual relationship between the two have allowed for future development of young football stars. Finally, Fontaine's extensive volunteer resume wouldn't have been possible without Saint Mary's University, its' athletic department, and the football team. Another great mutual relationship that created great success in giving back to the community in various forms. Combining the experiences between football, education, volunteering, and keeping a strong relationship to his own heritage has inspired him to reach out to other Aboriginal youth through the Tribal Dreams program.

Education:

  • Degree in Criminology with a minor in Psychology (Saint Mary's University) 2012
  • Diploma in Personal Fitness Training (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology) 2005

On-Field Experience: 14 Years of football

  • 2 years Fort McMurray Ravens Football Club (Most Valuable Offensive Player Award 1998)
  • 4 years Fort McMurray Trappers Football Association (Rookie of the Year 1999, Most Valuable Defensive Player Award 2003)
  • 4 years Edmonton Huskies Football Program (Rookie of the Year for Huskies 2003, Rookie Linebacker of the year for the Prairie Football Conference (PFC) in 2003, Won CJFL National Championship in 2004 and in 2005, Team Captain 2005/2006, Hitman Award 2006)
  • 4 years Saint Mary's University Football Program (Played in Vanier Cup 2007, Won 4 AUS conference titles, played in 2 Mitchell Bowl Games and 2 Uteck Bowl Games)
  • Silver Medalist for Team Alberta in the Under 19 Football Canada Cup 2003
  • Played in the 2000 Alberta Summer Games with the Zone 7 Football Team
  • Invited to the 2010 Duane Forde Combine (CFL)

Jade Etienne
Team Member

It's hard to believe that Jade Ettienne was originally on the University of Saskatchewan's roster as a kicker! Jade showcased his speed and talent on the practice roster and was soon converted to a starting wide receiver. Jade then showed everyone what hard work could accomplish. Having a breakout season in 2010 that saw him finishing third in the entire CIS league with 721 receiving yards on 28 receptions in only 7 games! (that's an average of 103 yards per game!) Jade was then named as a first team All-Canadian. Jade went on to be Drafted in the first round #4 overall by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers! Jade is an inspiration to every underdog and a definition of the word "determination"! Welcome to the Tribal Dreams Team!

Ryan King
Team Member

Ryan King was drafted 38th overall by the Edmonton Eskimos and is now a linebacker and the starting long snapper. Growing up in Edmonton, Ryan is now living his childhood dream. Playing for the team he's always loved and showcasing his talents in front of proud family and friends, things couldn't be better for him. From Bev Facey High school to the Edmonton Wildcats and then all the way to Nova Scotia to play for St. Mary's University, Ryan understands the impact football can have and the opportunities it opens for those involved. Ryan was an all-star on and off the field during his time at Saint Mary's University. King went on to break the all-time defensive points record while volunteering at every community initiative he could. We are truly thankful for Ryan King's support and we want to welcome him to the Tribal Dreams Team!

Justin Palardy
Team Member

Justin Palardy had an outstanding CIS career at Saint Mary’s University. As a kicker, Justin understood that practice made perfect. He put in a tremendous amount of hours into perfecting his trade, proving that hard work pays off and inspiring teammates in the process. Justin Palardy was drafted 36th overall with an impressive list of credentials; he currently holds the Atlantic University Sport record for career points (320), field goals (116) and converts (65), despite still having one season of eligibility remaining with the Saint Mary’s Huskies. Volunteering with Tribal Dreams in the past, Justin is a strong believer in community initiatives. Now kicking for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers he continues to demonstrate work ethic, practicing day in and day out while maintaining one of the highest kicking percentages in the CFL! A positive role model to aspiring athletes and a great addition to the team.

Darcy Brown
Team Member

An Alumni of Saint Mary’s University, Darcy Brown was a member of the 2007 and 2008 AUS championship teams and also played in the 2007 Vanier Cup. In 2008 Darcy was named to the East-West Bowl all-star game and from there was drafted 6th overall in the 2009 CFL draft by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats! A veteran now, having played 55 games, including 36 starts at fullback in three and a half seasons in Hamilton, Darcy is now a proud member of the Edmonton Eskimos. Darcy Brown is a great contribution to both the Edmonton Eskimo’s and the Tribal Dreams Team! Thanks for supporting our initiative Darcy, your help is greatly appreciated!

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copyright 2012 - Tribal Dreams // a non profit initiative