Canadian Lacrosse Association selects Rusty Doxtator with 2020 Lester B. Pearson Award

The late Rusty Doxtator has been named winner of the 2020 Lester B. Pearson Award.

“I think he would have been humbled by the award,” Director of Operations for Iroquois Lacrosse, Kevin Sandy said.

Sandy, who was a good friend of Doxtator also added, “He was a very humble individual who liked others to get credit as well. I think he would have been honored.”

Prior to the Canadian Lacrosse Association making the decision official, Sandy had already been informed that Doxtator had indeed won the award.

“I knew the award was coming,” Sandy said. “I got hold of Rusty’s daughter Seqouya Phillips -Doxtator.”

According to Sandy, Phillips- Doxtator’s reaction was, “That’s awesome for my father to be awarded with a lacrosse honour.”

This prestigious award, which is presented to a member of the Canadian Lacrosse community, recognizes such tangible assets as sportsmanship and leadership.

Another attribute the Lester B. Pearson Award stands for is giving back to the game by volunteering countless hours in helping young Canadians improve their game both mentally and physically while getting that confidence in taking the next step.

‘Rusty is a deserving recipient of the Lester B. Pearson Award,” Terry Rowland, CLA Director of Marketing said. “He dedicated many years to lacrosse and now is the perfect time to recognize his accomplishments and show gratitude for all that he did for the sport of lacrosse in Canada.”

Sporting an impressive lacrosse resume, Doxtator held such prestigious positions as Indigenous Director on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Lacrosse Association over a five- year span from starting in 2014 until November, 2019 where during this time he excelled at chairing the CLA Indigenous Development Committee Meetings, assisting the CLA with adapting a more culturally appropriate language and terminology, along with developing quality relationships with the Canadian Lacrosse Association and Indigenous organizations.

Doxtator’s lacrosse track record also included a one- time stint as President for the Major Series Lacrosse team, Six Nations Chiefs.

He also played a significant role in creating history when back in 2017, he assisted with the 150th anniversary celebration of lacrosse, which consisted in a couple of re-enactment Indigenous games played from the past.

“It’s a high honor for the community,” Sandy said. “I used to room with Rusty in the early 90’s in Toronto. He was laid back but could be stern. This (community) is the center of lacrosse, where individuals are recognized for their accomplishments.”

The year 2017, was in fact a special year to remember for Doxtator who held the title CLA convener in Six Nations where the Presidents Cup tournament was being held.

“Rusty was an integral member of the CLA’s Board of Directors for many years,” CLA President Shawn Williams said. “This award will be presented to Rusty’s family later this year in his honour. His contributions to lacrosse and to celebrating our sport’s indigenous roots live on.”

Unfortunately, the CLA suffered a huge loss when Doxtator passed away in Feb, 2020. His many legacies include organizing a positive image campaign which consisted of stickers being handed out with the important message saying, “Honour Our Game.” The underlying message of course was to provide a positive upbeat fun atmosphere and experience for the sport of lacrosse.

Another legacy that Doxtator leaves behind is being on the Canada Games Committee and playing a role in making history by getting lacrosse included in the 2021 Canada Summer Games.

No doubt, it was a huge moment for Rusty Doxtator’s family, when the Canadian Lacrosse Association made this decision official.

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