For some, having a family member win the Brier and a world championship when you’re 12 might feel like an impossible task to live up to. In my case, seeing my uncle Greg McAulay succeed in curling showed me what was possible in life and gave me a dream I could chase. As a proud Métis curler, I hope to be an example for young Indigenous athletes like my uncle was to me. 

My mom introduced me to curling when I was eight, and I immediately felt at home on the rink. The chilly ice made me feel warm and fuzzy inside, and I spent countless hours practicing with my brother, throwing no less than a gazillion rocks. Curling was something we fell in love with, and we still share that love as a family. 

I now have two twin daughters of my own, and they both curl at my home rink. Dinner at my house can sometimes look less like a meal and more like a championship match, where salt shakers are commandeered as stand-in rocks gliding from one end of the kitchen table to the other. 

That sense of play is essential in our home. As an Indigenous woman in sport, I always want my daughters to chase their dreams, just like I’ve chased mine. My one daughter, Karmyn, always says to me, “Mom, I think I should be your mixed doubles partner.” She may not fully understand the concept of “mixed doubles,”  but the thought of playing with her never fails to make me smile. 

In a high-pressure situation, I always take a deep breath, look up at the stands, and see my family’s faces. My husband, my girls, and my parents have always come to my events to cheer me on. When COVID happened, they weren’t allowed to travel with me. It was emotionally draining and one of the hardest things I’ve gone through as an athlete. 

During those times, I really had to lean on my second family. My teammates are like my sisters. Being on the road for weeks at a time, we lean on each other, and we have each other’s backs on and off the ice. 

That sisterhood is what led us to be Scotties Tournament of Hearts champions three years in a row. We’ve had our ups and downs, but we never gave up. 

I think that’s the important thing for junior curlers to remember. You can have bad shots and you can be mad, but never give up. The curling community is always there when you have a bad day, whether they are family, teammates, coaches, or even opponents. 

Curling is for everyone. Being Métis and coming from Indigenous roots, that sense of community, family, and welcoming everyone is in my blood. 

“I’ve had a few Indigenous junior curlers reach out to me, and I felt so happy and excited. They want to learn more about the sport, and that is something that I want to bring to the curling world. I want to be able to help give back to the sport in any way I can.” – Kerri Einarson