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  • Ayanna O’Kimosh

    < Back Ayanna O’Kimosh ​ ​ ​ Ayanna O’Kimosh Oneida/Menominee/Arikara Induction Category: Year Inducted D.O.B. ​ Athlete 2023 January 11, 2008 ​ Ayanna “Naenwehtawukiw-Warrior Woman” O’Kimosh is from Keshena, Wisconsin and she is an enrolled member of the Oneida Nation and descendent of the Menominee and Arikara Nations. She is a freshman at the Shawano Community High School in Wisconsin. She began a journey in boxing in 2018 with the Menominee Indian Boxing Club. As an amateur boxer, she won two Junior Olympic State Championships, two Silver Gloves State Championships, is a Silver Gloves National Champion and is a 2x USA Boxing National Champion. In addition to her love of boxing, she spends a lot of her time training and playing softball for Impact Sports Academy’s in De Pere, Wisconsin. Living up to her Menominee name, she is a warrior spirit who represents resiliency in her tribal nations Oneida-Menominee-Arikara. Her platform inside and outside of the ring is to fight to bring attention and awareness to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and girls/people epidemic that plagues Native American communities throughout the United States and Canada. Her motivation in fighting is to demonstrate that resiliency by breaking down barriers and challenging the statistics, injustices, to change the narrative for future generations by being a positive role model for other native youth. She chose to focus her platform on awareness and supports prevention efforts fundraising to support much needed community resources aimed to reduce the risk for women and girls. Some notable awareness work includes local and national collaborative events with professional women boxers including local and international interviews, presentations, keynoting for 2021 Girls Summit and using her social media to spread the word. When she is not at the boxing gym training or at the softball complex training, she enjoys some of her other favorites such as reading, singing, playing the guitar, painting, baking, creating art and crocheting. <Back

  • Oren Lyons

    < Back Oren Lyons ​ ​ ​ Oren Lyons Onondaga Nation Induction Category: Year Inducted D.O.B. ​ Athlete 2022 ​ ​ Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan, Onondaga Nation. He serves on the Grand Council of Chiefs of the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy –Haudenosaunee. Oren holds the title of Professor Emeritus at SUNY Buffalo, has a Doctor of Laws Degree from his Alma Mater, Syracuse University and Lyons Hall at SU is named in his honor. Chief Lyons is an All-American Lacrosse Hall of Famer, and Honorary Chairman of the Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse Team. He is an accomplished artist, environmentalist, author, and global presenter and holds the title of Wisdom Keeper. He is a leading voice at the UN Permanent Forum on Human Rights for Indigenous Peoples, serves on the Executive Committee of Spiritual and Parliamentary Leaders for Human Survival, acts as Chairman of the Board for both the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development and Seventh Generation Fund. Recipient of several prestigious awards including Green Cross International Environmental Icon Award, founded by Mikhail Gorbachev. The United Nations NGO World Peace Prize, the Ellis Island Congressional Medal of Honor, The Rosa Parks and George Arents Award for Environmental and social activism and receiving Sweden’s prestigious Friends of the Children Award with his colleague the late Nelson Mandela, also included in his list of acknowledgments are the UN World Peace Prize, Ellis Island Congressional Medal of Honor, Native American Hall of Fame Chief Lyons is a constantly sought-after speaker, a subject of several documentaries, films and a tireless advocate for American Indian causes and Indigenous rights. Oren is a founding member of One Bowl Productions and serves as a constant reminder of humanity’s responsibilities to the earth and our future generations. <Back

  • Patti Dillon

    < Back Patti Dillon ​ ​ ​ Patti Dillon Mi'kmaq Induction Category: Year Inducted D.O.B. ​ Athlete 2023 April 6, 1953 ​ Patti Dillon was one of the most storied and accomplished runners of her era. Rising from complete obscurity to win the 1976 Ocean State Marathon, she quickly established herself as the best female runner in the Boston Area. By 1979, however, she was one of the most fearsome competitors in the United States. The next three years would see her finish runner up at the Boston Marathon three times in succession; finish behind Grete Waitz in the 1980 NYC Marathon becoming the first American woman to break 2:30; set multiple American and world records; and help to usher in professional running in the United States, often at great cost to herself. Along the way, Patti was signed by Nike as their first sponsored female runner and was pivotal in pushing for and accepting prize money in road races. In one glorious stretch, Patti entered 48 road races and won 44 of them. She set world records in the 20k, half-marathon and 30k and a world record in the women’s only marathon. Patti also won the Honolulu Marathon 4 times, winning in course record times with each successive race. After retiring in 1986, Patti married US Cross-country National Team standout Dan Dillon. They have two wonderful children, Aaron and Raven, and a growing pack of golden retrievers. Patti is now the Head Coach of the first professional Native American running team in US history with the intention of developing world class talent across Native Americans communities. Patti held the World Record for 5 miles, 20k, 13.1 miles, 30K twice, and 26.2 miles. American records included the 10k 6x, 15k 2x, and 10 miles. She broke the American Marathon record three times and held them all at the same time. <Back

  • Martin Wheelock | NAIAHF

    Martin Wheelock Category Athlete Tribe Oneida Year Inducted 2022 D.O.B. 6/5/1874 D: 5/25/1937 Martin Frederick Wheelock was born in Oneida, WI, in 1874 and attended Carlisle Indian School in Carlisle, PA, from 1890-1902 where he became a varsity letterman on the legendary Carlisle Indians football team for years 1894-1902. The Indians played against all the major teams in the East and some in the Midwest. In 1899, with Wheelock as Captain, the team received an invitation to play the University of California in San Francisco on Christmas Day for the "East-West Championship". The California team had just finished an undefeated season and had been un-scored upon. Following an adventurous train trip across the country, the Indians defeated California by a score of 2-0 in a tough game fought on a slow, sandy field. Wheelock played guard and tackle during his career, was the leading kicker many years, and finished as center in 1902. Despite bouts of pleurisy, he is reported to have played football for one season at Haskell Institute in Kansas after leaving Carlisle. Following the end of his football career, Wheelock returned home to Oneida, WI, where he married a former Carlisle student, had a family, farmed, and used his extensive education (for the times) to help interpret important matters. He died in 1937. Honors and recognition Wheelock received include: Carlisle Indians Team Captain, 1899 and 1901; Second Team All-American in 1901; All-University Team in 1902 by the Sports Department of the Philadelphia Inquirer; named by Glenn Warner as his choice for left guard on his all-time Carlisle line-up, and frequent mention in the school newspaper, "The Indian Helper". When Wheelock spent time at home in Wisconsin, he was recruited to play one season for the Green Bay football team (before they were the Packers). Wheelock, along with other Oneida football players who played for the Green Bay town team, is featured on a Walk of Legends statue outside Lambeau Field. In 1980, Martin Frederick Wheelock was inducted into the American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame at Haskell Indian Junior College in Lawrence, Kansas. Home About Inductee Search Provincial Nominees Contact Nomination More

  • Ernie Stevens Jr. | NAIAHF

    Ernie Stevens Jr. Category Athlete Tribe Oneida Year Inducted 2022 D.O.B. 7/5/1959 Ernie Stevens, Jr. is Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) out of Washington, DC. Serving in his 11th consecutive two-year terms. Stevens serves as Chairman and National spokesman for the Indian Gaming industry working with Tribal Leadership in shaping policy initiatives that have the potential to impact the industry. Stevens served as elected Councilman for the Oneida Nation from 1993 to 1996. His career in Washington, DC began in 1995 as the First Vice-President of the National Congress of American Indians. He serves as a board member of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, Nike N7 Foundation, Center for American Indian Youth, and Native American Graduate Center. In 2008, Stevens was inducted into the National Indian Athletic Association Hall of Fame. In 2012, he was inducted into the Boys & Girls Club Alumni Hall of Fame. In 2013, he was inducted as Lifetime Member of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium’s Alumni Association. In 2015, Stevens was inducted into the American Gaming Association Gaming Hall of Fame, and has received several national accolades. Ernie’s boxing career started in his teens. At 16, along with boxing icon Louie Askinette, he co-founded the Soaring Eagle Boxing Club in Oneida in 1975. His accolades include 4-time State Heavyweight Champion in 1976, 1977, 1978 & 1979. He is also a two-time National Indian Heavyweight Champion out of Carson City, NV in 1977 & 1978. In 1977, he was 17 years old fighting seasoned men to win the Championship. Stevens received an Associate Degree from Haskell Indian Junior College, 1983, a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Mount Senario College,1996 and a Masters in Management from the University of Phoenix, 2021. Stevens is married to his wife and best friend of 43 years, Cheryl. Together they have 5 kids and 17 grandchildren. Home About Inductee Search Provincial Nominees Contact Nomination More

  • Edison Eskeets

    < Back Edison Eskeets ​ ​ ​ Edison Eskeets Navajo Induction Category: Year Inducted D.O.B. ​ Athlete/Builder 2023 May 30, 1959 ​ Edison Eskeets is an enrolled member of the Navajo Tribal Nation. He attended and received diplomas from Haskell Indian Junior College, Kansas, and Bradley University, Illinois. A First Team All-American Runner, invested in Native traditional education composed with the mainstream educational school system at large. Edison taught at the Orme School, an international school, and the Native American Preparatory School serving in the following capacities: Chair of the Fine Arts, Teaching the Arts and Humanities, Coaching Track & Field and Cross Country, Academic Dean, Associate Head of School, Head of School. In addition, he served as the Executive Director on behalf of Wings of America, serving Native youth programs throughout Indian Country. Edison made every effort in making a difference within Native communities and went beyond boundaries: fundraising, grant writing, lectures, presentation of Native Arts, collaborating programs with colleges/communities, and seeking funds from government, foundations, corporations, individual donors, state funds, and tribal funds. It is vital to maintain the goodness of all indigenous societies including culture, language, ceremonies, food, and underscoring the history of the Americas, from Chile to Alaska. At one time, there were over 80 million indigenous population in the Americas and today’s count is almost 6 million. Therefore, Education, Athletics, Native programs, Higher Education, Funds, and Leadership must be nurtured. His final employment was under the Hubbell Trading Post at Ganado, Arizona operated by the Western National Parks Association. He is the first Navajo trader to manage the Hubbell Trading Post, the oldest continuously operating trading post on the Navajo reservation. This environment included education of Native arts: metal smithing, rug weaving, wood carving, painting, pottery, leather works, and trading items with fellow customers. Currently, he is promoting a new book titled “Send a Runner,” a book illustrating the history of the southwest embodied with Native traditional ultra-running. Photo Credits: Joseph Kayne and Fairfield Half Marathon (CT) <Back

  • Kelly Babstock

    < Back Kelly Babstock ​ ​ ​ Kelly Babstock Anishinaabe from the Unceded Territory of Wikwemikong Induction Category: Year Inducted D.O.B. ​ Athlete 2023 August 4, 1992 ​ Kelly Babstock fell in love with hockey at a very young age, her desire and want to play the sport grew naturally. Kelly always made it very clear to her parents how much she loved the sport before even knowing how to play it. It was when she asked her father to take her out skating, without ever skating before. She put on her first pair of skates and naturally glided on the ice and that was the night where Kelly Babstock took her first step in becoming the natural born athlete she is today. Kelly is a native to Toronto, Ontario. Once she became of age she joined the Jr. league and she had started her career with the Toronto Jr. Aeros, and continued on to Quinnipiac University. In her four years with the team she would become the program’s all-time leader in goals (95), assists (108) and points (203). She helped lead the team to their first NCAA tournament berth in program history and was also the finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award. After her collegiate career, Kelly would move to the professional ranks and join the Connecticut Whale of the NWHL in 2015, and be named to the 2017 and 2018 NWHL All-Star games. She is currently playing in her seventh season in the league with the Metropolitan Riveters. Kelly was featured in Sports Illustrated following her outstanding college hockey career. Kelly was inducted into the LNHL Hall of Fame. Kelly has always been an inspiration for the indigenous community by having hockey camps and creating awareness on her social media platforms. With Kelly’s continuous growth she strives to create a stronger Indigenous platform, influencing the youth to find their love for the sport and to flourish from it. <Back

  • Angelo Baca | NAIAHF

    Angelo Baca Category Athlete Tribe Diné/Hopi Year Inducted 2022 D.O.B. 2/13/1980 Angelo Baca is a cultural activist, scholar, filmmaker and currently a doctoral student in anthropology at New York University. He is the cultural resources coordinator at Utah Diné Bikéyah , a nonprofit organization dedicated to the defense and protection of culturally significant ancestral lands. The National Parks Conservation Association recently designated him as one of “10 Under 40” dynamic cultural activists who make up the association’s Next Generation Advisory Council. He has published a widely read op-ed in the New York Times. Shash Jaa’: Bears Ears is Angelo Baca’s latest award-winning film about the five tribes of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition that worked together to protect 1.9 million acres of Utah wilderness through a national monument designation. His work reflects a long-standing dedication to both Western and Indigenous knowledge. Baca is also the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Champion in Cross Country and on the outdoor track in the 3000 meters steeplechase and 5000 meters in 2002-03. He also is a seven-time NJCAA All American in Cross Country, Track and the Half Marathon. Currently, he is training for trail races and long distances runs across Indigenous landscapes in Navajo country. Home About Inductee Search Provincial Nominees Contact Nomination More

  • Dano Thorne,’kwaliquinum’

    Dano Thorne,’kwaliquinum’ <Back Coast Salish Cowichan and Nez Perce Induction Category: Year Inducted D.O.B. ​ Coach 2022 December 18, 1961 ​ A First Nations life-long advocate for sport, recreation, youth, and sport from grassroots to international level. A national level coach and coach instructor and founding member national aboriginal coaching modules the first master coach in this program, instructor in national coaching certification program, life skills coach mentor, suicide prevention mentor, physical literacy and multi-sport mentor, technical advisor to national and provincial sports groups and technical advisor and interim board member of world games movement. A lifetime professional commitment to create and develop sports and recreation for youth across North America. As an athlete, Indigenous Team Canada Indoor Soccer 1989-1998, Pro Soccer 1986-1988, Premier League Men’s Soccer 1979-1999, Duncan United Indigenous Men Provincial Champions and numerous MVP honors, and British Columbia (BC) Champions in 1990 and 1991. As a head coach, men’s teams won BC Champions 3 times in 1990, 1991, and 2001 and women in 1992. Men national runner-up 2001, women world champions 2015, 2017, Cuba U20 2019 and women North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) champions in 1993 and 1995. As an advocate and leader including being a board member, NAIG Council, Aboriginal Sport Circle, Team BC chef de mission, Special Olympics North America, National Indigenous Physical Activity Cultural Circle, founder NIFA Soccer Society, member of national sports committee appointed by sport minister and numerous other committees. Awards and honors include five-time BC Coaching Awards, three-time National Coach Awards, first ever Indigenous National Coach of the Year 1999. Graduate National Coaching Institute 1995 and presently completing the Canada Sport Institute Master Coaching Diploma. A two time athlete of the year as Cowichan Tribes Athlete in 1976 and 1979. With his 2015 team world champions he was inducted into the BC Soccer Hall of Fame in 2021. Dano has holistic approaches and remembers his cultural teachings of his family and elders. He is recognized for humility and integrity, respect of diversity and working for all people of indigenous ancestry and beyond. Believe who you are and live your dreams to all youth. Dano has been walking the red road for 33 years and enjoys his life daily. Has a strong spiritual belief with the Creator.

  • Thomas Gardipy Jr.

    Thomas Gardipy Jr. Beardy’s and Okemasis’ Cree Nation Induction Category: Year Inducted D.O.B. Trainer 2023 May 25, 1960 <Back Thomas Gardipy Jr. is a 4th generation Cree thoroughbred horse trainer. Tom is a very well known trainer across North America. His stats include 4851 lifetime starts with an impressive 872 wins, 847 seconds and 721 thirds, with a total earnings of $4,925,535.00. Throughout his career, Tom has amassed a number of awards, including the 2000, 2001 and 2002 Top Trainer award from Marquis Downs in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. In 2003, he received the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Circle of Honor Award for Sports Athlete Professional. Tom has accumulated a remarkable 6 Top Trainer awards from Assiniboia Downs in Winnipeg, Manitoba. In the 19 years training at Assiniboia Downs, Tom always ranked in the top 3 trainers. Tom attributes his success to his wife of 39 years, Cheryl. When she is not taking the grandchildren to visit their Moshum (grandfather) in Winnipeg, she is maintaining the family farm in Beardy’s Cree Nation. In addition, his sons and daughter all assist and play a role in the day-to-day work training and caring for thoroughbred racehorses. Tom believes in helping and giving back to the community that has always supported him. Throughout his years training, he has employed many Indigenous youth and given them the opportunity to learn about the horse racing industry. Tom firmly believes in the healing ability that horses have. Over the years, he has witnessed and experienced it first hand, with his family and employees. He is often heard saying, “take care of your horses, and they will take care of you”. Black Diamond Stables, which was named after Tom’s great grandfathers horse “Black Diamond” is a family centered business. His hope is to have his children and grandchildren carry on the legacy that began over a century ago and maintain the cultural connection between horseman and horse.

  • Jason Peters

    Jason Peters <Back Mi’kmaw Induction Category: Year Inducted D.O.B. ​ Coach 2022 December 25, 1972 ​ Jason Peters, a Mi’kmaw, is a member of Glooscap First Nation located within the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia. He has been a coach and an Indigenous and mainstream sport leader for 33 years. Peters is also a recognized sport administrator, Chartered Professional Coach (ChPC), and a National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) Coach Developer, Basketball Coaches of Canada Advisory Board member and Head Coach of Team Yukon’s U18 Women’s program that will be attending the 2022 Canada Games. Peters’ is believed to soon be Canada’s first Indigenous basketball Head Coach at the Canada Games taking place in Niagara in 2022. He is a two-time provincial champion at Bayside Middle School and former Head Coach of the Simonds High School Seabees women’s program in Saint John, New Brunswick. He served as the Chef de Mission of Aboriginal Team New Brunswick during the 2014 (Regina) and 2017 (Toronto) North American Indigenous Games. In 2013. he was inductee of the New Brunswick Aboriginal Sports Hall of Fame and in 2011 his book Aboriginal Sport Heroes: Atlantic Canada was published. In 2009 Peters served as an Assistant Coach of the New Brunswick women’s Canada Games basketball team (PEI), Canada Basketball’s Nike Centre for Performance and received the New Brunswick Aboriginal Coaching Award. In 2012 he received Basketball New Brunswick’s Special Merit Award for his ongoing service to the basketball community. Peters’ coaching career started in 1989 when he volunteered to coach a Junior Mini team in the newly established East Saint John Minor Basketball Association (ESJMBA). He eventually became a rep team coach, a member of the board of directors and President. Jason also served as a board member of the Coaching Association of Canada, Coach New Brunswick, the Aboriginal Sport Circle, and the North American Indigenous Games Council. Photo Credits: 2010 Vancouver Olympic Committee and Jason Peters

  • Brady Fairbanks | NAIAHF

    Brady Fairbanks Category Athlete Tribe Leech Lake Ojibwe Year Inducted 2022 D.O.B. 8/11/1989 Brady Fairbanks, 2007 graduate of Cass Lake Bena High School (MN), was a Minnesota High School All-State athlete in football and basketball. During his high school career, Fairbanks was a three-year starter on the basketball team leading CLB to an 83-11 record, including 42-0 in conference play. In 2006-2007, he led CLB to the Class A State Championship game where the team came up just shy of victory in a memorable game. Accomplishments include: • Conference MVP (‘06 and ‘07), • Section 6 MVP (‘06 and ‘07), • Honorable Mention State (‘06), • 2nd Team All State (‘07), • McDonald’s All-American Nominee, • Minnesota Native American Athlete of the Year, • National High School Player of the Year (Native Elite Showcase) Fairbanks accepted a full scholarship to NCAA DII Bemidji State University, becoming a starter and earning a spot on the All-Freshman Team in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC). Transferring to Haskell Indian Nations University (HINU) after his junior year, Fairbanks had a historical year becoming the school’s first male athlete to become a NAIA All-American. Accomplishments include: • 7th nationally in scoring (20.9), • 14th in rebounding (6.3), • First Team All-Conference, • Conference New-Comer of the Year, • Team MVP, • 1,000+ Points (Collegiate Career). Photos: Haskell Athletics and Ryan White Home About Inductee Search Provincial Nominees Contact Nomination More

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