Tag Archives: Indigenous Peoples

This Day. Tom Longboat Day

June 4 is Tom Longboat Day, which recognizes the life and career of one of the best distance runners to ever represent Canada. Winner of the 1907 Boston Marathon, Longboat is remembered for both his athletic achievements and innovative training methods. From the Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve near Brantford, ON, Longboat faced racism and prejudice throughout his career, including being called lazy by the press and fellow competitors over his training schedule.

By introducing regular rest into his regime, however, Longboat had a competitive advantage over other runners, who believed that they had to train at maximum effort all the time. He had a better understanding of how to train for long races and, as a result, he was fresher and better prepared than his competitors. This served him well during his career as he was known for his strong finishing sprints.

In 1951, the Tom Longboat Awards were established to recognize Indigenous athletes for outstanding contributions to sport in Canada. In the new book Reclaiming Tom Longboat: Indigenous Self-Determination in Canadian Sport, Janice Forsyth explores the history of the awards and their place within the broader history of Canadian policy and Crown-Indigenous relations. The book looks at how sport has been part of colonization in Canada while at the same time it asks how it can be part of decolonization. Through both oral and textual sources, Professor Forsyth pushes the reader to think critically about sport’s role in Canada while also shedding light on an under-told story in Canadian sport history.

In this episode of the History Slam, I talk with Professor Forsyth about the book. We talk about her experience as a winner of the award, the place of role models in sport, and the use of mainstream sports in colonization. We also talk about sport and culture, the media’s role in telling athletes’ stories, and traditional sport and games and their role in decolonization.

Sean Graham is a historian with Parks Canada, an Adjunct Professor at Carleton University, and a contributing editor with Activehistory.ca

History Slam Episode 149: Indigenous Self-Determination in Canadian Sport

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Indigenous Guna force Nike to drop shoe with ‘stolen design’

The Nike Air Force 1 shoe carried a multi-coloured, swirling pattern which claimed to be a tribute to Puerto Rico, featuring a graphic representing the country’s native Coqui frog.


Panama’s Guna people objected to the launch and pointed out that the design similar to their traditional “mola” textile.

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Australia: Rugby players say anthem does not represent Indigenous peoples


NSW Blues player Cody Walker has criticized the lack of Indigenous representation from the song. | Photo: NRL.com

Australia’s first Aboriginal Minister for Indigenous Affairs Ken Wyatt says changing the anthem is not something he supports at this stage because there are more pressing problems.

A second Indigenous player who is scheduled to participate in the upcoming State of Origin series – an annual rugby league series – has spoken out against the composition of the country’s national anthem. Continue reading

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National Lacrosse League’s Saskatchewan Rush to fly Iroquois flag at home games

SaskTel Centre, the Rush’s home arena, hosted the world junior indoor lacrosse championship from Aug. 8 to 12.

The Iroquois, who invented the sport of lacrosse, compete internationally as a separate team and brought their distinctive purple-and-white flag to the event. Continue reading

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Reality check. A strange claim about Indigenous women on the Canadian hockey team

How many Indigenous women have participated in the 20 years of women’s hockey at the Winter Olympics? The sports media, which is expressing concern about parity, has made a sorry record sorrier.

Indigenous athletes Brigette Lacquette and Jocelyne Larocque | Canadian Press

Several times during the Gold Medal match between the USA and Canada at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics, CBC broadcaster Matt Lee erroneously stated that 25-year-old defenceman Brigette Lacquette, a Cote First Nations woman from Mallard, Manitoba (about 300 km northwest of Winnipeg on the border with Saskatchewan), was the first Indigenous member of the Canadian team. Continue reading

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Inuit hockey funding cut in half

After being celebrated for a decade of good work, Nunavik Youth Hockey Development Program in northern Quebec is being told it had strayed from its crime prevention mandate to focus on winning tournaments.

The Nunavik Youth Hockey Development Program which was created in 2006 by former NHL player Joe Juneau.
The Nunavik Youth Hockey Development Program which was created in 2006 by former NHL player Joe Juneau.  (FACEBOOK/NYHDP NORDIKS)  

MONTREAL (Feb. 28) —Joé Juneau spent a lifetime learning about teamwork and determination as a collegiate hockey player, an aeronautical engineering student and 13 seasons in the NHL.

He has been trying to instill those same values in the Arctic villages of northern Quebec with a hockey program aimed at keeping Inuit youth on a path clear of the hazards of boredom, unemployment, addiction and crime that plague the region. Continue reading

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Brazil prepares to host first-ever Indigenous Olympics

Indigenous peoples from 22 countries are set to attend the first Indigenous Peoples World Games. | Photo: HispanTV

Indigenous peoples from 22 countries are set to attend the first Indigenous Peoples World Games. | Photo: HispanTV

teleSURtv.net (October 22) – The Indigenous Peoples World Games are expected to bring as many as 30,000 people to the Brazilian city of Palmas. Continue reading

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NFL: Why historians should demand the Redskins change their name


“The Organization of American Historians hereby adds its voice to the growing demands by Native American organizations, our sister disciplines, and conscientious people of all ethnic backgrounds, to change the name and logo of the Washington ‘Redskins.’ Continue reading

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University of Wisconsin point guard says Change the Mascot

Bronson Koenig is using his newfound national platform to speak out against mistreatment of Native Americans | BRIAN WARD in The Nation

University of Wisconsin point guard Bronson Koenig | AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)

(March 16) – On January 11, 2015, Bronson Koenig, backup point guard for the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team, was thrust into a starting role for the NCAA basketball’s sixth-ranked team after senior point guard Traevon Jackson went down with a broken foot. “I’m obviously going to have to start being more vocal as a leader,” Koenig, a sophomore, said following the announcement. “One area of improvement I need to really start working on is my leadership and being more vocal, but I’m confident that I’ll step into that role.”  Continue reading

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Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse Team captures bronze medal at world championship

Ontario Regional Chief congratulates team

 Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse TeamTORONTO – Ontario Regional Chief Stan Beardy Congratulates the Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse Team representing the Haudenosaunee Confederacy on their third place finish in the World Lacrosse Championship this past Saturday in Denver, Colorado. Continue reading

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