Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame officials are continuing their quest to raise awareness and raise the voices of some of its indigenous peoples.
Last year, Calgary-based Hall launched its We Will Do Better project, a digital, storytelling campaign to raise awareness of the role racism played throughout the careers of Indigenous, Black and Asian Hall of Famers.
Hall officials also hosted an indigenous summit last October. The summit virtually included family members of six surviving indigenous inductees as well as eight other indigenous individuals who were included but passed away. Discussions at the summit enabled Hall officials to develop a 10-year vision for their indigenous sports and reconciliation ventures.
For this, the civil will be issued on August 9. The project, a digital multi-media exhibition, is being deliberately released on that day to mark the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.
The Swadeshi Sports Heroes Education Experience is designed for all students from Kindergarten to Grade 12.A second indigenous-themed project Hall Officials plans to launch this September is the Beyond the Win program.
The initiative aims to organize virtual learning sessions for school-age children at both the primary and high school levels, including the Swadeshi Hall of Famers. These sessions will be held in Prerak’s hometown and surrounding communities.
During these sessions, the Hall of Famers will discuss their careers and a variety of topics including goal setting and overcoming adversity.
Wilton Littlechild, who was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame through the builder category in 2018, will work with Hall officials for the pilot project. His story will be told to students in his home community of Hobema, Alta. And in nearby places, starting from this September will continue till December.
Littlechild attended residential schools from 1951 to 1964. A standout athlete, he was later a member of the University of Alberta’s men’s hockey and swimming teams. He became Alberta’s first First Nations person to become a lawyer and later served as a Confederate politician for the riding of Waitaskiwyn-Rimbe from 1988 to 1993.
Littlechild was one of the founders of the North American Indigenous Games and was instrumental in bringing the 2017 World Indigenous Games to Alberta.
In addition to Horn-Miller, Littlechild, Trottier and Firth, other Indigenous Hall of Famers who survive are Alwyn Morris and Colette Bourgonje.
The list of deceased Indigenous Hall of Famers includes Shirley Firth, Tom Longboat, Joe Benjamin Keeper, Gaylord Powless, Ross Powless, Alex DeCoto, Bill Isaacs and Harry Manson.
Video stories from nine athletes, including Waneek Horn-Miller (Mohawk), who co-captained the Canadian women’s water polo team that competed at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, can be viewed here: https://www.sportshall.ca/campaigns/wewilldobetter.html?lang=EN