Digital book

New digital book aims to educate Canadians about Indigenous sports heroes

A digital book exploring the rich history and contributions of Indigenous athletes is now available online.

Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame launched the Indigenous Sports Heroes Educational Experience on Monday with a virtual event.

Bob Rooney, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, said the organization was honored to showcase “the rich sporting history of the Indigenous Hall of Fame in the hopes of sparking conversations about fairness and ‘inclusion through the prism of sport’.

“The Indigenous Sports Heroes Educational Experience aims to educate and inspire young people across Canada, sparking conversation in classrooms and at kitchen tables across the country,” he said at the event. virtual event.

The eBook is a response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action # 87, which called on governments and organizations to provide public education telling the story of Indigenous athletes in history.

The digital book features Indigenous athletes like Paralympian Colette Bourgonje, cross-country skiers Sharon Anne and Shirley Firth, and Waneek Horn-Miller, who was part of the Canadian water polo team that won gold at the Pan American Games. from 1999.

“It is really important that we share our stories with these young people, as well as with elders and people across the country and know that they can have a silver lining in themselves,” said Sharon Anne. Firth at the virtual event.

Firth and his twin sister Shirley were members of Canada’s national cross-country ski team for almost two decades and competed in four Olympic Games.

Part of the book is dedicated to the athletes who won a Tom Longboat Award. The awards were created in 1951 to recognize Indigenous athletes for their outstanding contributions to sport in Canada.

Legendary Onondaga runner Tom Longboat won the famous Boston Marathon in 1907. (Charles A. Aylett / Library and Archives Canada)

Lyric Atchison, a member of the Squamish Nation and 2019 Tom Longboat Award recipient, said she hopes this resource will inspire other young Indigenous people to get involved in sport and create their own legacy.

“We have faced so much adversity and struggle in a climate that constantly serves to demolish, and the extraordinary people featured in this exhibit have risen above and inspired people everywhere, demonstrating that despite repeated attempts to ‘erasing indigenous peoples and culture, we are still here and we are a force to be reckoned with, “Atchison said at the virtual event.

The book will contain additional educational resources designed for K-12 students and will be made available free of charge to educators across Canada.