We call upon all levels of government, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, sports halls of fame, and other relevant organizations, to provide public education that tells the national story of Aboriginal athletes in history. 

Indigenous Watchdog Status Update

Current StatusOct. 4, 2021STALLED
Previous StatusSept. 5, 2021STALLED

Why “Stalled”?

Response only refers to the two most recent Indigenous inductees without referencing how the Tom Longboat Awards, launched to celebrate the outstanding contributions of Indigenous athletes to sports in Canada, can be leveraged to provide “public education”. Little detail at provincial, territory or sports organizational level.

Tom Longboat Award winners

YearMale AthleteProvinceFemale AthleteProvince
2019Cameron GayleardManitobaLyric AtchisonBritish Columbia
2018Michael LinklaterSaskatchewanJocelyne LarocqueManitoba
2017James LavelléeManitobaJoy SpearChief-MorrisAlberta

Commitments to Public Education on History of Indigenous Athletes

North American Indigenous Games: Team88
The Toronto 2017 NAIG introduces #Team88 to promote the positive impacts of sport and wellness within Indigenous communities and to bring a focus to all TRC recommendations recognizing sport as an important pathway to reconciliation.

Canadian Sports Hall of Fame
A new online exhibit launched by Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame includes a handful of segments related to the Indigenous sporting history of the country. The exhibit, which went online in late December and is free to the public, is titled Canadian History and Society: Through the Lens of Sport. The entire exhibit can be viewed at http://www.canadasports150.ca.

Aug. 13, 2021: APTN News – Canadian Sports Hall of Fame unveiled a new, first of its kind educational exhibit in Calgary. Titled the Indigenous Sport Heroes Education Experience, the exhibit will offer a glimpse into the truths and experiences of Indigenous hall of famers. The online exhibit features 16 “chapters,” 14 of which are dedicated to the Indigenous all of famers including NHL great Bryan Trottier, runner Joseph Keeper and Olympian and Karakwinontha Waneek Horn-Miller. According to Cheryl Bernard, president and CEO of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, the exhibit aims to promote conversation about equality and inclusion.

Aboriginal Sport Circle
The Aboriginal Sports Circle is Canada’s national voice for aboriginal sports, physical activity and recreation. They give out the annual Tom Longboat awards.

Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame

Dec. 21, 2020 – Held a recent feature exhibit on the Great War and Manitoba athletes who partook; a feature case dedication was given to Joe Keeper and Angela Chalmers (for Women in Sport exhibit). In addition, the current Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame exhibit includes celebrating 40 years of inductions and features 500+ individuals and teams since 1980 that also include Indigenous members photos on the Hall of Fame wall.

National Post

July 19, 2021 – The National Post ran a story on Alex Decoteau: Saskatchewan’s first Olympian, Canada’s first Indigenous police officer.  He was inducted into the Edmonton Sports Hall of Fame in 1967, 50 years after he was killed by a sniper’s bullet at Passchendaele in 1917. Decoteau, from Red Pheasant Cree Nation near North Battleford, was the first person from Saskatchewan to compete at the Olympics, and the first Indigenous person to be hired permanently by a Canadian municipal police force. He placed sixth in the 5,000m at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics. 

Official Federal Government Response: Sept. 5, 2018

In 2017, the annual Tom Longboat Awards, a program that honours Indigenous athletes for their outstanding contributions to sport in Canada, were relaunched. On October 18, 2018, the 2 national recipients, Michael Linklater (Saskatchewan) and Jocelyne Larocque (Manitoba), were honoured at Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Sport Canada will continue to work in collaboration with the Aboriginal Sport Circle to identify opportunities to tell the national story of Indigenous athletes.