Beyond the Win Indigenous Education

The Cause

Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame (CSHoF) is a Registered Charitable Organization and has been a vital cultural institution in Canada for the past 65 years. CSHoF is one of North America’s oldest sports museums with the focus of recognition, education, tourism, curation and thought leadership. Our purpose is to Build Canada through Sport by aligning sports influencers with broader social purpose. We are Canada’s only national museum of sport. The Order of Sport, established in 2019, is a formal acknowledgement that Canada’s shared values are sports shared values; respect, equality, fairness and openness, and that sport is a strong backbone for building diversity, inclusion and accessibility in Canadian communities. The Order of Sport Award marks the occasion which, together with Induction, is Canada’s highest sporting honour. Our Order of Sport champions go “beyond the win,” as characterized by their contributions to humanitarian causes and community service.

We are seeking funding to create an Indigenous-led, impactful education program focused on sport, storytelling and traditional cultural activities that meets the needs and cultural values of Indigenous communities across Canada. The aim of Beyond the Win Indigenous Education is to: (1) accelerate reconciliation; (2) strengthen Indigenous identity, pride and community-building within Indigenous communities and in the wider community; (3) honour Indigenous knowledge systems; and, (4) amplify community leadership by providing opportunities for youth to engage in meaningful teachings of Indigenous heritage and culture. We plan to host an Indigenous Summit in September 2020 to bring together Indigenous Hall of Famers inducted into CSHoF, an Indigenous Consultant and CSHoF staff to: (1) Adapt the existing Beyond the Win: Hall of Famers on Tour presentation framework and presentation approach to best meet the needs and cultural values of Indigenous communities in Canada, including presentations by Indigenous Hall of Famers and education modules facilitated by Indigenous consultants that engage youth in traditional cultural activities; and, (2) To create a plan to pilot the program to four schools/reserves in the communities that the Indigenous Hall of Famers represent by December 31st, 2021. Your funding will help support the Indigenous Summit and the piloting of one Beyond the Win Indigenous Education program in Southern Alberta.

Who Will it Benefit?

This initiative addresses reconciliation and has the ability to benefit Indigenous communities as well as the greater Canadian community. It supports the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's (TRC) Call to Action #87: “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.” The program will specifically make a positive impact on Indigenous youth by using sport as a vehicle to engage them in meaningful teachings of Indigenous heritage and culture. As identified by Hall of Famer Chief Wilton Littlechild, sport can “strengthen identity, contributing to self-confidence and pride…Indigenous sport is an important component of reconciliation, community-building and an enduring expression of cultural identity, offering young people in particular…a wholesome foundation for life.” Fellow Indigenous Hall of Famer, Waneek Horn Miller, has also advocated for sport’s community-building capacity: "We have to stop seeing sport as a recreational pastime…in the Indigenous world, it's far more important. It is a suicide preventer. It's leadership building. The TRC included [sports] because they understood their community-building capacity…I think sport has this incredible capacity to make change." This program also brings awareness to the many barriers Indigenous Peoples have overcome to achieve greatness in sport through their own self-determination and perseverance, many of which go beyond the typical challenges that most athletes face in Canada. Additional burdens include the aftermath of residential schools and the Sixties Scoop as well as misconceptions around Indigenous Peoples being natural athletes and racist attitudes about their training. Janice Forsyth, a member of the Fisher River Cree First Nation of Manitoba and the consultant who will facilitate the Indigenous Summit, recalls dealing with these issues during her athletic career: “When I did well, people who believed in that racist discourse overlooked the amount of training I put into running…The flip side is that when I had a bad race, people thought I was being lazy and said I should train more.” Your funding will help to enable change and cultivate social well-being by creating a sustainable platform supporting Indigenous Hall of Famers in sharing their truths, experiences and teachings with Indigenous communities across Canada.