For the second straight year a standout lacrosse player from Six Nations has been named as Canada's top Aboriginal male athlete.
Cody Jamieson, who had more than his share of accomplishments in 2007, has been selected as the male national winner for the Tom Longboat Award.
And Victoria native Stacie Anaka, a wrestler who captured a bronze medal at a world meet last year, is the female national winner.
The awards will be presented on May 1 in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. The ceremony will be held in conjunction with the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships, being staged in Sault Ste. Marie that week.
"It's a big honour," Jamieson, a 20-year-old who is completing his sophomore studies south of the border at Syracuse's Onondaga Community College, said of his national accolade. "Especially when you see all of the great athletes who have won this award."
Jamieson is well acquainted with last year's male national winner, Sid Smith. The pair have grown up together in Ohsweken and have played on numerous Six Nations lacrosse teams together.
Jamieson said he was unaware he had even been nominated for the Tom Longboat Award. And he was shocked officials opted to give it to a lacrosse player from the same community in back-to-back years.
"That's what surprised me the most," he said.
Jamieson, however, is certainly a deserving recipient. He was a key member of the Six Nations Arrows Express who captured the Minto Cup, the national Junior A lacrosse title, this past September in Coquitlam, B.C.
Jamieson was named as the most valuable player at the Minto Cup event after scoring a tournament-high 14 goals and adding nine assists in five games.
Jamieson was also a member of the Iroquois Nationals men's squad that won the silver medal at the world indoor championships held last May in Halifax. Jamieson's collegiate accomplishments were also rather impressive. He was one of the main reasons the Onondaga Lazers had a perfect 19-0 record and won the National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association (NJCAA) field lacrosse championship.
Besides being named a first-team all-American at the junior college level, Jamieson was also chosen as the lacrosse player of the year in the NJCAA. And an even more prestigious accolade came Jamieson's way when he was presented with the David Rowlands Memorial Award.
This award is annually presented to the best male athlete in any sport and in any junior college in the U.S.
Jamieson became the first lacrosse player to win the award. And he said he was thrilled with this award since some previous winners have gone on to professional football or baseball careers.
As for Anaka, she placed third in the girls' 63-kilogram division at the world junior (20 and under) wrestling championships this past August in Beijing, China.
Anaka said she wasn't all that surprised to win a medal at the world meet. That's because she had some experience, having placed seventh in her weight class at the 2006 world junior championships in Guatemala.
Anaka, a 20-year-old who is a third-year student at British Columbia's Simon Fraser University, took up wrestling a dozen years ago.Another highlight for Anaka in 2007 was when she won the gold medal at the Canadian university championships held in Saskatoon.
"I think it's a pretty big accomplishment," she said of her Tom Longboat Award. "I don't think I've won a national award before."
Anaka's trophy case, however, does include some provincial awards. During her graduating year she was selected as British Columbia's top female high school athlete. And she's also a previous winner of B.C. junior wrestling athlete of the year.
Jamieson is hoping her latest award will bring some recognition to her sport, especially among Aboriginals. "A lot of the Native communities might not know about wrestling," she said. "This might create some awareness."