FREDERICTON (CNB) - Ed Doherty, minister responsible for the Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat, and Hédard Albert, minister of wellness, culture and sport, are pleased that Bobby Hull, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, will be the guest speaker at the celebrations to encourage members of Aboriginal Team New Brunswick as they prepare to compete at the 2008 North American Indigenous Games.

"It is an honour to have an athlete of Bobby Hull's calibre to motivate our young athletes to achieve their full potential," Doherty said. "Mr. Hull is a legend whose abilities and talent transcend sport. We are simply honoured to have him here."

In his 15 seasons with the National Hockey League, Hull scored 610 goals and 1,170 total points, making him the highest scoring left wing in history at the time. When he retired, Hull was second only to hockey legend Gordie Howe in goals and total points scored. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983.

"I come from a very small town of about 500, so I know from my own experience that anything is possible as long as you work hard and believe in yourself," Hull said. "It really is possible to make your dreams come true."

The pep rally is an opportunity to celebrate and congratulate all the athletes, coaches, chaperones and mission staff for their hard work while also wishing them well before they leave for the games.

"I want to wish Aboriginal Team New Brunswick the best of luck as they compete among other athletes from across North America," Albert said. "I am certain these young people will be outstanding representatives for their communities and wonderful ambassadors for our province."

Aboriginal Team New Brunswick is comprised of 65 athletes, coaches, managers, chaperones and mission staff. The delegation will be competing in seven of the 14 sports.

The North American Indigenous Games celebrate the sport and culture of indigenous peoples across North America. Recognized by the Aboriginal Peoples and governments of Canada, and by tribal nations throughout the United States, the 2008 North American Indigenous Games will take place Aug. 3-10 in British Columbia.

The games offer competition in 14 sports for athletes of all abilities between the ages of 13 and 22. About 9, 000 athletes and cultural participants and 40,000 to 50,000 supporters and spectators are expected to take part in the 10-day event.

For more information, visit the 2008 North American Indigenous Games website: