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Tom Longboat Award recipients being sought out


Windspeaker Staff







Do you know someone who has received the Tom Longboat Award? Researchers are looking for many Tom Longboat Award recipients (see list at the end of this story) to conduct oral interviews about their experiences in Canadian sport. If you know anyone on the list please contact the recipient and ask him/her to pass their contact information on to the researchers (contact information is also at the end of this story).
The Tom Longboat Awards were established in 1951 as a joint effort of the Department of Indian Affairs and the Amateur Athletic Union of Canada (AAUC). Between 1951 and 1972, Indian Affairs and the AAUC shared responsibility for the awards. Indian Affairs managed the Awards at the local and regional levels, while the AAUC directed activities nationally. Through the years, responsibility for the Awards has shifted twice, and since 1998, the Awards have been administered by the Aboriginal Sport Circle, the organization representing Aboriginal sport and recreation development in Canada.
Today, the awards are given to the top male and female athletes in each of thirteen geographic regions. The regional recipients are then nominated for the prestigious national award, which is presented annually to the outstanding male and female Aboriginal athlete in Canada. In all, more than 350 Aboriginal athletes have received either regional or national awards since 1951.
Of all the Aboriginal athletes in Canadian sport history, only a select few have a major award named in their honor. Tom Longboat, an Onondaga runner from the Six Nations of the Grand River, is one such athlete. Longboat competed in various distances in foot racing at the turn of the twentieth century, but was best known for his success in long-distance running. During his career, he won numerous high profile races including the Boston Marathon, held the world record in the fifteen-mile event, and competed in the 1908 Olympic Games in London, England.
Since his death in 1949, Longboat has been the subject of much historical enquiry. It seems many Canadians are fascinated with his story.
In addition to the numerous narratives written about the legendary athlete, in 1952, the Department of Indian Affairs sponsored the creation of a filmstrip titled, Tom Longboat: Canadian Indian World Champion, which was circulated among residential schools in Canada. Thirty years later, renewed interest in his life was evident with the release of two video productions, including the CBC-TV film Wildfire: The Tom Longboat Story, for which Bruce Kidd served as script consultant, technical advisor, and actor, and the 1993 documentary, Longboat. Whether in history books or movies, Longboat's memory lives on in public consciousness. He was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1955, the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 1960, the Canadian Indian Hall of Fame in 1967, and the Canadian Road Running Hall of Fame in 1991. In 1999, Maclean's magazine named Longboat the top "star" of the twentieth century, and in 2000, Canada Post memorialized him by creating a commemorative stamp for its millennium collection. Few athletes have been remembered in so many ways.

N = National Recipient
R = Regional Recipient

Raymond Rousselot -1973N Beverly Stranger -1976N
Alwyn Morris (x3)-
Arthur Quoquochi (x2)-
Johnny D. Brisbois - 1989N
Miss Sally Jacob - 1972R
Vicky Rice - 1981R
Eleonore Sioui - 1987R

Walter G. Noel (x2)
1959N/1960 R
John C. Courchene 1975 N
Ryan Bates - 1994N
Clifford Grieves - 1995N
Miss Rosalind Merrick -1969R

British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Yukon
Joe Mason (x2)
Edward Vernon Campbell -
Tom Watts - 1962N
Robert Beaulieu - 1963R
George [Merman] Brown - 1965N
Antoine Mountain - 1967R
Reginald Underwood -1976N Alanaise O. Gerguson -1994N Myrna Williams - 1961R
Vivian Underwood - 1964R Miss Leona Sparrow -1967 R

Charles Smallface (x4)
Randolph Youngman -1958N Jacob W. Littlechild (x4)
Bert Mistaken Chief -1969N Gordon Lee Crowchild - 1981N
Tom Erasmus -1985N

George Poitras - 1957N
Arthur Obey (x2) -
Malcolm Constant (x2) -


Paul Goulais - 1955N
Bruce Bruyere - 1961N
Howard Sinclair Anderson - 1972N
John Lewis - 1963N
Miss Phyllis Bomberry - 1968N
Kenneth Joseph Montour -1970N
Steve Collins - 1979N
Beverly Beaver - 1980N
Rick Brant - 1987N
Betty Goulais - 1955R
Miss Nellie Trapper - 1970R
Betty Lorraine Jewel - 1958R
Mrs. Beverly Beaver (x2) -1967R/1980N
Doris Henhawk - 1985R

John Sark - 1952N
Edward Kabatay (x2) -
Margaret Paul -1966 R
Miss Collette Cimon -1972R
Mary Marlene Ward -1975 R

Carole Polchies - 1978 N
Mona Jones - 1988 N
France Debassiace - 1995 N
Bruce Paizen 1997 N
Dan Calhoon -1998 N


Project contact information:

Janice Forsyth
Assistant Professor,
Joint Appointment Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation & Native Studies
Ph: (780) 492-0522
Fax: (780) 492-0527
Email: jforsyth@ualberta.ca
Audrey Giles
Assistant Professor
University of Ottawa
Ph: (613) 562-5800 ext. 2988 Fax: (613) 562-5149
Michael Heine
Assistant Professor
University of Western Ontario
Ph:(519) 661-2111 ext. 85753 Email: phonemheine@uwo.ca

This project is funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Standard Research Grant, File #410-2008-2608