02/17/2015 07:15 EST | Updated 04/19/2015 05:59 EDT

Aboriginal hockey families complain about racism on ice

Some First Nations families in Regina are complaining about racist taunts directed at their teenage hockey players.

Treena Amyotte filed a grievance in January about other players hurling slurs at her 14-year-old son.

“One kid will say something like, ‘go back to the res,’ or call them a ‘dirty Indian’ or something,” Amyotte told CBC News.

“It happens more often than it should.”

Aaron Desjarlais has also made two formal complaints. After striking an opposing player with a defensive hit, Desjarlais said, his son was subjected to insult, threat and even violence on the ice.

“The player got upset, skated after him, came up behind him and cross-checked him,” said Desjarlais.

“As he was skating by him, he yelled at him and basically told him, ‘I will kill you, you stupid Indian.’”

In response, Desjarlais said Hockey Regina sent him an email stating the organization could not substantiate the claim.

Hockey Regina said it gets approximately five complaints a year alleging racism and there is zero tolerance for such behaviour.

However, Amyotte said she thinks five is an underestimation, as there are some who could be unwilling to speak up.