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  • Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert, Hopi

    Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert <Back Hopi Induction Category: Media Year Inducted 2024 Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert is Professor of History and American Indian Studies at the University of Arizona. He is an enrolled member of the Hopi Tribe from the village of Upper Munqapi. Centering his research and teaching on Native American history and the history of the American West, he examines the history of American Indian education, the Indian boarding school experience, and American Indians and sport. Over the years, Gilbert has published extensively on Hopi long-distance running, including an article titled “Hopi Footraces and American Marathons, 1912-1930” (American Quarterly, March 2010) and “Marathoner Louis Tewanima and the Continuity of Hopi Running, 1908-1912” (Western Historical Quarterly, Autumn 2012). He is, however, best known for his book, “Hopi Runners: Crossing the Terrain between Indian and American” (University Press of Kansas, 2018), which won the 2019 David J. Weber-Clements Prize of the Clements Center for Southwest Studies. In it, he examines the ways Hopi marathon runners navigated between tribal dynamics, school loyalties, and a country that closely associated sport with U.S. nationalism. He calls attention to Hopi philosophies of running that connected the runners to their village communities and to the internal and external forces that supported and strained these cultural ties when Hopi people competed in U.S. marathons. He argues that between 1908 and 1936, the cultural identity of Hopi runners challenged white American perceptions of modernity and placed them in a context that had national and international dimensions. This broad perspective linked Hopi runners to athletes from around the world, including runners from Japan and Ireland, and caused non-Natives to reevaluate their understanding of sport, nationhood, and the cultures of indigenous people. His work and expertise on Hopi running have been featured in an ESPN documentary film, “Run Hopi” by Scott Harves, and various media outlets, including the KUYI Radio Station (88.1 FM) on the Hopi Reservation. A sought-after speaker on Hopi and indigenous running, he has given lectures for academic audiences, tribal organizations, primary and secondary schools, and Native American cultural centers and museums, including the Heard Museum, Amerind Museum, and Tohono O’odham Cultural Center and Museum.

  • Lara Mussell Savage, Sqwá (Skwah) First Nation

    < Back Lara Mussell Savage ​ ​ ​ Lara Mussell Savage Sqwá (Skwah) First Nation Induction Category: Year Inducted Athlete 2024 Introduced to Ultimate in high school in Vancouver, BC, Mussell Savage's speed, agility, and disc-handling abilities quickly set her apart from her peers. She grew to become a prominent player in both the College and Club Ultimate scenes and is a two-time World Champion. Mussell Savage was a captain and player-coach for University of British Columbia's female Varsity Club team helping lead them to three consecutive Canadian University Ultimate Championship victories in 1998, 1999, and 2000. The team also won several U.S. tournaments and was the only Canadian team to hold a number one ranking in the U.S. college circuit. Mussell Savage was also a long-standing member of Prime, Vancouver's competitive club team, with whom she won three Canadian National Championships. Among her international achievements is as a member of Team Canada for four World Championships earning two gold and two bronze medals. She served as co-captain for the Turku 2004 World Ultimate Championships where Canada went undefeated. Mussell Savage was recognized as the 2004 National Tom Longboat Award winner for female Indigenous athlete of the year for Canada and BC's Indigenous athlete of the year in 2003 and 2004. In recognition of Prime's legacy and impact, the team was inducted into Canada's Ultimate Hall of Fame in the team category and is featured within the BC Sports Hall of Fame & Museum's exhibit "In Her Footsteps: Celebrating BC Women in Sport". Mussell Savage was inducted into the Chilliwack Sports Hall of Fame in 2016 and she is also a featured athlete in the BC Sports Hall of Fame's Indigenous Sport Gallery. Mussell Savage's leadership and dedication to sport made her not just a top athlete but also an inspirational figure. Her performance and influence go beyond her team; she works to advance Indigenous sport and she promotes inclusivity and gender equity. She also gives back to her community having served on her Nation's elected Council for nearly ten years and is the former Chief of her community - Sqwá First Nation. She resides on Sqwá Reserve with her husband Kirk Savage, Ultimate World Champion and Canada Hall of Fame inductee, and their two children. <Back

  • Delby Powless, Mohawk

    < Back Delby Powless ​ ​ ​ Delby Powless Mohawk Induction Category: Year Inducted Athlete 2022 Delby Powless is member of the Mohawk Nation. He is a Child and Youth Counselor in his home community, Six Nations of the Grand River, in Ontario, Canada. Powless played five seasons with the Six Nations Junior A Arrows lacrosse club and is currently the team’s All-time leading scorer with 686 total points. While attending Herkimer County Community College, Powless was twice named All-American. He transferred to D1 Rutgers University where he led the Scarlet Knights in scoring both years and was a 2x All-American, while leading Rutgers to 2 NCAA tournament appearances. Powless also won a Canadian University lacrosse championship with Brock University and was named All-Canadian. Powless represented the Iroquois Nationals lacrosse team as a player at six World Championships, and at the first-ever World Indoor Lacrosse Championships, he was selected to the All-World Team. In 2003 Powless was named the recipient of the Tom Longboat Award as Canada’s Top Aboriginal Athlete. Powless was drafted 1st overall in the 2004 National Lacrosse League entry draft by the Buffalo Bandits and helped them win the Champions Cup in 2008. Powless also played in Major League Lacrosse with Toronto Nationals winning the Steinfeld Cup in 2009. <Back

  • Ryan Salmon, Ojibwe

    Ryan Salmon Ojibwe Induction Category: Year Inducted Builder 2024 <Back Ryan Salmon's journey in the world of volleyball began on the beaches of Southern California, where he first discovered his deep passion for the sport. Starting from those humble beginnings, he embarked on an impressive collegiate career, representing UNLV and Kendall College. It was during his time at Kendall College that his commitment to both academics and athletics flourished, earning him recognition as an All-American athlete, and playing a pivotal role in his college team's successes on the volleyball court. Following his graduation, Salmon's devotion to volleyball led him to explore the world as he pursued a professional career in the sport. The California beach culture, which initially ignited his passion, remained the driving force behind his remarkable journey and continued to inspire his dedication to the game. Beyond his achievements in volleyball, Salmon, alongside his wife, Nicole, holds the significant role of Directors at the Minnesota Juniors Volleyball Club. In this capacity, he leverages his extensive knowledge and experience to nurture young talent, providing aspiring athletes with the opportunities and guidance needed to reach their full potential. Through his leadership, Salmon plays a crucial role in shaping the future of volleyball in Minnesota. Furthermore, Salmon's contributions extend beyond the volleyball court. He serves as the Tribal Liaison for the White Earth Nation, a role of great importance. In this capacity, he forges connections between the tribe and external organizations, working tirelessly to preserve the heritage, traditions, and values of the White Earth Nation. His unwavering dedication to his community's well-being has a profound and far-reaching impact.

  • Jordin Tootoo, Inuit

    < Back Jordin Tootoo ​ ​ ​ Jordin Tootoo Inuit Induction Category: Year Inducted Atlete 2024 Jordin Tootoo made history as the first Inuk player to be drafted by the NHL. Over his 13-year career, he played for the Nashville Predators, Detroit Red Wings, New Jersey Devils, and Chicago Blackhawks, banking 161 points, including 65 goals, in 723 career games. A trailblazer both on and off the ice, Tootoo has since become a vocal mental health advocate dedicated to giving back to his communities. He speaks to the power of creating a culture of inspired inclusivity and explores what real teamwork looks like, both at home and work. Of Inuit and Ukrainian descent, Tootoo is not only the first Inuk NHL player, but also the first one raised in Nunavut. He played for the Brandon Wheat Kings in the Western Hockey League (WHL) from 1999 to 2003 and was drafted by the Nashville predators in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. Tootoo was nominated for the NHL Foundation Player Award in 2015, which recognizes players who enrich the lives of people in their community. He announced his retirement from the sport in 2018. As an Indigenous athletic leader, Tootoo has long understood his responsibility as a role model and speaks openly about the need to fight the stigma around mental illness and to provide more mental health support. He founded the Team Tootoo Foundation in honour of his late brother Terence, to provide grants to various charities for suicide prevention and at-risk youth. In 2016, Tootoo was awarded a Meritorious Service Medal through the Order of Canada in recognition of his work. Action Photo Credit: Jordin Tootoo #22 of the Detroit Red Wings skates against the Nashville Predators at the Bridgestone Arena on February 19, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. Frederick Breedon/Getty Images <Back

  • Abby Roque, Ojibwe

    < Back Abby Roque ​ ​ ​ Abby Roque Ojibwe Induction Category: Year Inducted Athlete 2024 Abby Roque grew up in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and is Ojibwe from Wahnapitae First Nation. She grew up playing boys hockey in Michigan, and competed in two U18 Women’s Worlds winning a gold and silver medal. She then went on to play NCAA Division 1 hockey at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Roque and the Wisconsin Badgers won a National Championship in 2019, and multiple WCHA league championships. Individually she won WCHA Rookie of the Year, WCHA First Team, WCHA Player of the Year, and was Top-3 for the Patty Kazmaier Award. She graduated from the Business School at the University of Wisconsin with a degree in marketing. She made the USA national team in 2019 and has been a mainstay ever since. In her USA Hockey career she was named the 2020 USA Hockey’s Women’s Player of the Year. She has also competed in three IIHF Women’s World Championships, winning Gold once and Silver twice. She was the first indigenous player to play for Team USA in the Olympics, winning a silver medal in the Beijing 2022 Olympics. <Back

  • Naomi Lang Strong, Karuk Tribe of Northern California

    < Back Naomi Lang Strong ​ ​ ​ Naomi Lang Strong Karuk Tribe of Northern California Induction Category: Year Inducted Athlete 2023 Naomi Lang was a competitive ice dancer, and represented the United States in numerous competitions around the world. She has five U.S. national titles, and has competed at five world championships, in which she placed in the top 10 each time. She is a member of the 2002 Olympic team, and became the first Native American woman to compete at the Winter Olympics. Naomi continued to skate professionally and appeared in several U.S. ice shows, including many of the Disson skating shows televised on NBC and the Hallmark Channel. She also toured extensively in Europe and Russia performing in Art on Ice, Kings on Ice with Evgeni Plushenko and composer and violinist Edvin Marton, and the Katarina Witt Farewell Tour. They performed at Jim Carrey's private Christmas party in Hollywood. She is a member of the Karuk tribe of northern California, and has Wiyot and Shasta decency. She was born in Arcata, California. Additionally, Naomi was inducted into the Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame in 2012. Naomi has been instructing figure skating for 18 years, and her goal in teaching figure skating is to inspire people, not only from her own experiences, but share everything she has discovered and learned along the way. Whether it be from her own amazing coaches or things she learned touring the world for figure skating, she wants to help make dreams come true, and strive to find the right path for everyone, and with the right balance of fun and hard work She believe dreams can come true. <Back

  • Barry Powless, Onondaga

    < Back Barry Powless ​ ​ ​ Barry Powless Onondaga Induction Category: Year Inducted Athlete/Coach 2023 Barry Powless is from the Onondaga Nation and is Eel clan. His elders told him Deyhontsigwa’ ehs (They bump hips) is a medicine game given to the people and played for the enjoyment of the Creator. In 1975, his senior year, he was a high school All American attackman and then played at Syracuse University. He played in two World Championship tournaments; 1980 World Box Lacrosse Championships, silver medal with Can Am Warriors and 1990 World Field Championships in Perth, Australia with the Iroquois Nationals. During his summers, he played box lacrosse at the amateur and professional levels throughout his career in the US and Canada. He was the first overall pick in 1991 with a professional Canadian-US indoor lacrosse league (National Lacrosse League). He received his first pro title, Major Indoor Lacrosse League (MILL) World Championship, when playing for the Buffalo Bandits in 1992. Barry received multiple league awards for being a High Scorer, MVP, Most Sportsman award, all-star teams, 1978 Cornwall Ontario Lions Club Player of the Year, and 1981 President’s Cup tournament MVP. He won three Canadian National Championships, one Mann Cup and two Presidents Cups. He participated in ten Canadian Championship tournaments and won six British Columbia Provincial Championships. He played senior lacrosse for four decades starting in the 1970’s and retired at age fifty. He was a head coach at the high school, senior, and professional level. He earned his second pro title in 1997 when leading the Rochester Knighthawks to the MILL World Championship and was the first Indigenous head coach to win a world title. Barry also was the VP of Lacrosse Operations for the National Lacrosse League (NLL) and currently is an executive host at Seneca Niagara Casino. Barry is honored, proud and humbled to now be inducted into seven Hall of Fames with those who also played the Creator’s game including 1999 Ontario Lacrosse, 2013 Greater Syracuse Sports, 2015 US Lacrosse Upstate NY Chapter, 2016 LaFayette Central School Sports, 2018 Akwesasne Lacrosse, 2021 Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame - Team Category, and the 2023 North American Indigenous Athletics Hall of Fame. <Back

  • Jesse Frankson, Inupiaq Eskimo

    < Back Jesse Frankson ​ ​ ​ Jesse Frankson Inupiaq Eskimo Induction Category: Year Inducted Athlete 2023 Jesse Frankson started training for the Inuit Games in 1997. He competed in the Native Youth Olympics (NYO) State competition for the one foot high kick and tied the state record as a senior in high school. He then started coaching NYO high school athletes for three years. He was selected for Team Alaska in 2002 and 2004 for the Arctic Winter Games, which is held Bi-annually in various parts of the world, where he set records for the Alaskan High Kick and the One Foot high Kick. Jesse went on to compete at the World Eskimo Indian Olympics in 2005 and 2006 with several games, four of which he set records in. The One Foot High Kick, Alaskan High Kick, Kneel Jump and the One Arm Reach, all of which he held at one time, something that to his knowledge, has never been done before or since. He also competed and won in the Two Foot High Kick, Scissor Broad Jump and Stick Pull. Jesse was one of a few athletes featured in Jonathan Stanton’s documentary Games of the North, also Guinness World Records which was featured on Fox in 2001, where he set the world record for the Highest Martial Arts Kick at 9’8”, in a televised competition against Martial Artist Michael Blanks. Jesse was born in Kotzebue, Alaska and raised in Point Hope, Alaska. His wife Krystle Frankson and he have six children. His parents are Theodore Frankson Jr. and Kristi Frankson. <Back

  • Rebekah Howe, Crow Creek Sioux

    < Back Rebekah Howe ​ ​ ​ Rebekah Howe Crow Creek Sioux Induction Category: Year Inducted Athlete 2023 Rebekah (Bekah) Howe is Crow Creek Sioux. She plays competitive pétanque and has medaled at regional, national, and international events. Bekah started playing pétanque casually in 2012. She began competing regionally in 2014, and played her first national competition in 2015, bringing home a silver medal in the National Women’s Doubles category. In 2018 she won gold in the National Women’s Singles event and the National Mixed Doubles event. Her first international competition was in 2022, where she represented the U.S. at the World Games in Birmingham, Alabama alongside her teammates Janice Bissonnette, Juanita Celix, and Chia Vang. In addition to the women’s team competition, Bekah participated in the precision shooting event where she took the silver medal, earning the first international medal for the United States in pétanque. Most recently, her women’s triples team of Gerda Jorgensen and Chia Vang qualified to represent the U.S. at the 2023 Pétanque World Championships in Thailand. Bekah believes in the power of sport to build community. She has served on the board of her local pétanque club since its inception, and encourages everyone to learn more about her favorite sport, pétanque, and come out and play. She lives in Port Townsend, WA with her husband Silas Holm, who also plays competitive pétanque, and her dog Lou. One of her favorite sport moments was winning the 2018 National Mixed Doubles with Silas. She hopes to play pétanque well into her old age, with her walker or wheelchair if necessary. Photo Credits: Carlos Chavez and Federation of Petanque USA <Back

  • Kathy Smith, Mohawk

    Kathy Smith Mohawk Induction Category: Year Inducted Builder 2024 <Back A member of the Mohawk Nation, Sha’tekariwate turtle clan, and raised on the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory in Canada, Kathy Smith was inspired by her father’s involvement in minor sports at Six Nations, and the lack of opportunities for girls to play sports when she was growing up. Her lacrosse journey began with Six Nations Girls Field Lacrosse, where she held positions from coach to house league convenor to Vice President. In 2006, Smith entered the international arena as a member of the Haudenosaunee Women’s Lacrosse (HWL) Board, formed to take women’s field lacrosse teams to play in World Championships. When the original Board was dismantled after the 2007 U19 World Championship, Smith was asked to create a new Board in 2008. A new aspect of Smith’s lacrosse journey began as the Chairperson of the HWL Board, eventually evolving into the Executive Director of the Haudenosaunee Nationals Board of Directors (HNBOD). From 2008 to 2021, she led the Haudenosaunee women to World Cups in 2009, 2013 and 2017 and U19 World Championships in 2011 and 2019. A journey with challenges and lessons, the biggest challenge was the U19 women being denied entry into Scotland to play in the 2015 World Championship. Learning the lessons of perseverance, believing in possibilities, and doing the necessary work, the Haudenosaunee women travelled to England on Haudenosaunee passports in 2017 to play in the World Cup. By entering Germany in 2011 and England in 2017, the HNBOD furthered the acceptance and legitimacy of Haudenosaunee passports. Knowing the women needed to be their best; physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, Smith incorporated visualizations, affirmations, and tapping into preparing the women for competition. Recognizing empowered women build strong families, clans, nations, and communities, she hoped the experience of representing the Haudenosaunee on the world stage, persevering through adversity, and believing in their ability to have, be, or do whatever they want, will be passed on to future generations. During Smith’s time as the leader of the Haudenosaunee women’s lacrosse program, the women had autonomy, self-sufficiency and independence, a women’s program led by women, true empowerment of women.

  • Dominic Tiger-Cortes

    Dominic Tiger-Cortes Muscogee Creek Induction Category: Year Inducted Trainer 2024 <Back Dominic Tiger-Cortes is a Native youth programming consultant and a professional skills development basketball trainer based in New York City. He is the founder and Creative Director for “Honor Our Only Passion” (H.O.O.P.) Medicine, a program founded on a philosophy that Dominic created and lives by. He incorporates this philosophy when working with the youth by teaching basic fundamentals, advanced skills, and honoring the mental, physical, spiritual and emotional health aspects that can be used for basketball and in life. H.O.O.P. Medicine’s mission is to create a positive wellness and healthy lifestyle culture for our youth and future generations. Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA and an enrolled member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Tiger-Cortes grew up with a passion for basketball. He was a four-year letterman at Glendora High School in California, where he tallied 1,667 career points, was a three-time All-League recipient, three-time All-California Interscholastic Federation recipient and the 2008 San Gabriel Valley Tribune Player of the Year. Tiger-Cortes continued on to Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas where he was a critical piece in the school’s winningest team in four years. Tiger-Cortes also earned his Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Haskell. Aside from his personal athletic career, he has extensive experience training athletes from colleges including Cal State Fullerton, University of Arizona, and NYU, as well as tribal colleges including Haskell Indian Nations University, United Tribes, Bacone College and Northwest Indian College. Tiger-Cortes trained professional players from leagues in Europe, Puerto Rico, Mexico, to the NBA G League. His true mission is to bridge his training experiences and share them with Native youth across all of Indian Country through sports, cultural and wellness programs. Having already collaborated with tribes across the country, such as Fort Mojave, Nez Perce, Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Seminole Tribe of Florida, and Seneca Nation, Tiger-Cortes’ vision is to share the benefits of his journey with every tribe.

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