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  • George Armstrong, Algonquin (Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg)

    < Back George Armstrong ​ ​ ​ George Armstrong Algonquin (Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg) Induction Category: Year Inducted Athlete/Coach 2023 George Armstrong is known as one of the first Indigenous trailblazers in the NHL. He played 21 seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs between 1949 and 1971 and captained the team to 4 Stanley Cup championships in 1962, 1963, 1964, and 1967. George played more seasons, more regular season games, and captained the Maple Leafs longer than any other player in the club’s history. He was called by Conn Smythe "the best captain, as a captain, the Leafs have ever had." Born in Bowlands Bay, Ontario, on the shores of Lake Wanapitei, George grew up in a small northern mining community. In the winters, he practiced his skating and hockey skills when lakes froze over, in the summers he enjoyed swimming and hunting in the bush. His mother, a strong Algonquin woman, raised George to be proud of his heritage. After his time with the Copper Cliff Jr. Redman, George played for the Stratford Kroehlers in the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA), where he won the Red Tilson Trophy as OHA’s Most Valuable Player and the Eddie Powers Trophy as the league’s Top Scorer in 1947-1948. In 1950, Armstrong won the Allan Cup with the Toronto Sr. Malboros. While visiting the Stoney Indian Reserve in Alberta during the Allan Cup finals, the band presented him with a headdress and gave him the name “Big Chief Shoot-the-Puck” in honour of his Indigenous heritage. The nickname “the Chief” stuck with him throughout the rest of his career. After his retirement in 1971, George coached the Toronto Marlboros to two Memorial Cup championships in 1972-1973 and 1974-1975. In 1975, George was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. His jersey was retired by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2016. George ranks among the top all-time scorers in Maple Leafs history with 713 points in 1,188 regular season games. <Back

  • Fern Spencer, Hopi/Navajo

    Fern Spencer <Back Hopi/Navajo Induction Category: Year Inducted Coach 2024 Fern L. Spencer is Hopi from the Water clan and Navajo from the Honeycomb and Towering House clans and lives in Tohatchi, NM. She recently retired after 49 years in education and coaching at Tohatchi High School. Spencer was born in Phoenix, AZ. She was a 1968 graduate of Gallup High School. She attended Western New Mexico University in Silver City, NM. She walked on to the team at a time when there was six person basketball for women. By the end of her time at the university women’s basketball transitioned to five person basketball. When she received her first teaching job in 1974, she was asked if she was interested in coaching the girls’ basketball team. She accepted and taught for 49 years including 37 years coaching basketball and ten years in cross country. During that time she accumulated 517 wins and the team were 1982 New Mexico State Runner Up and earned six district titles, six trips to state, eight All Star teams, and coached the NM All Stars in Australia 2006. Spencer was named the 2004 New Mexico Girls Basketball Coach of the Year. She received a plaque for coaching 400 wins in 2003 when she received the New Mexico Girls Basketball Coach of the Year award. She also received honors as 2006 Athletic Director of the Year, 2014 New Mexico High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame, 2019 National Federation of Coaches Hall of Fame and 2023 New Mexico High School Distinguished Service Award. She was named to the Navajo Times Hall of Fame and coached games between New Mexico and Arizona after the season ended from 1990 to 1994. Spencer was also President of the New Mexico High School Coaches Association and the New Mexico Athletic Directors Association. She is also the current vice-president for the All-Indian Rodeo Cowboys Association and the Native American Rodeo Historical Society. She had a great experience coaching student athletes and her philosophy has been academics first then athletics.

  • Joey Christjohn, Oneida

    < Back Joey Christjohn ​ ​ ​ Joey Christjohn Oneida Induction Category: Year Inducted Athlete 2024 Joey Christjohn is an Oneida tribal member in Wisconsin. He started his boxing career as an amateur with his first bout in 1974 in Fond du Lac, WI at the local YMCA. His last bout as a professional was against Carlos DeLeon in Milwaukee, WI in 1993. Christjohn had 92 amateur fights with a record of 68 wins and 24 losses. He was a three-time Wisconsin Golden Gloves Champion. Christjohn was also the 1980 National Indian Athletic Association light heavyweight champion and recorded a knockout in 27 seconds. His pro debut was on Halloween in 1985 and he had 41 bouts in his career winning 19, losing 19, and had 3 draws. His pro career took him throughout the country including Carson City, NV, Milwaukee, WI, and Chicago, IL as well as overseas in Poland and France. One of his notable fights was defeating Oliver McCall in 1985. McCall would eventually win the 1994 WBC heavyweight championship of the world. Christjohn’s sparring partners included Greg Powless, Leander Danforth Jr., Ron Melchert, Kelly Stevens, Ernie Stevens Jr., Tim Tomashek, and Dennis Danforth Sr. <Back

  • Neilson Powless | NAIAHF

    Neilson Powless Category Athlete Tribe Oneida Year Inducted 2022 D.O.B. 9/3/1996 Neilson Powless burst onto the United States road racing scene as a 19-year-old and found instant success, finishing ninth overall at the 2016 Amgen Tour of California and winning a stage at the Tour de l’Avenir. Those results shot him to the World Tour where his adaptability accelerated his learning curve. His sporting family laid the foundation for his future professional success. His mom ran the marathon in the 1992 Olympics. His dad was in the Air Force and raced Ironman’s, winning an award for being the top Ironman finisher who was also in the military. His sister, Shayna is also a professional cyclist who has raced for the US National Team. Family time in the Powless household was spent outdoors: swimming in the lake, running, and riding bikes on the trails in Northern California. Before pursuing cycling, Powless won both XTERRA National and World Championships in 2012. Since entering the World Tour, most notable results are as follows: Winner of 2021 Klasikoa Donostia San Sebastián and the first time an American has won a World Tour one day race in over a decade. 5th place in 2021 Pro World Championships and the best result for an American in over two decades. Competed twice in the Tour de France and first ever North American Native to compete in the Tour de France. Photo: Getty Images Home 2024 Banquet 2024 Banquet Sponsorship About Inductee Search Provincial Nominees Contact Officials (Individual) More

  • 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

  • Ross Anderson, Cheyenne and Arapaho

    < Back Ross Anderson ​ ​ ​ Ross Anderson Cheyenne and Arapaho Induction Category: Year Inducted Athlete 2023 How did an adopted, full blooded Native American son become one of the most successful speed skiers in the world? The Native American alpine speed skier and racer with the fastest time in the Western Hemisphere did it through hard work, desire, perseverance and a ton of ability. Growing up in the mountains of Durango, CO Ross Anderson has held the record for the fastest American ever on skis. His 154.06 miles per hour (247.930KPH) was achieved in 2006. Born in New Mexico, Ross was adopted into an Anglo-American family. At three years old, Ross began learning the winter sport that put him into the history books. He was a six time national champion, and a member of the US Speed Skiing Team. Ross’ rise was a solitary one as the only competitor of color on this intensely competitive circuit. Not only did Ross set records becoming one of the top competitors in the world, including number two in 20O1 and number three in 2005, but he also understood the need to give back to this sport and all the youngsters who consider Ross their role model. The desire to give back is understandable considering that no Native American has ever come close to achieving the international stature that Ross has consistently earned while setting the highest standards in a remarkable career. In 2022 Ross was the featured athlete in a national television commercial produced by the New Mexico Travel Bureau that was released November 1, 2022. His unparalleled accomplishments continue to radiate hope for literally thousands of inspired youths, especially those of color who see that their dreams of standing atop a podium one day truly can come true. <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.

  • Alfred Jacques, Onondaga

    Alfred Jacques Onondaga Induction Category: Year Inducted Builder 2024 <Back Alfred “Alfie” Jacques, the legendary Onondaga Nation and Turtle clan stickmaker handcrafted more than 80,000 wooden lacrosse sticks during his lifetime. His Onondaga name was Ganoñhsahgaeoñh. There are stories of Alfie and his dad Lou beginning the stickmaking making process and including the traditions in their work. A 1999 Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Famer, Jacques played junior, senior and professional lacrosse in the 1960s and 1970s. He played nearly every position in box and field lacrosse and was a goalie for the 1974 Syracuse Stingers during their one season in the National Lacrosse League. Jacques also coached and served as general manager for the Onondaga Red Hawks, leading them to a Presidents Cup championship in 2010. He was honored with the 15th Spirit of the Tewaaraton Award. His sticks are on exhibit at the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame and Museum at USA Lacrosse headquarters in Sparks, Maryland. Jacques also was enshrined by the Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2011 and the Upstate New York Chapter of USA Lacrosse, now the Upstate Lacrosse Foundation, into its hall of fame in 2014. Jacques was the coach and general manager for the Onondaga Redhawks and he led the team to three Presidents Cup championship appearances in addition to winning a championship in his final season in 2010 with a 13-1 record. Jacques has had several YouTube videos featuring him and his work. These are a few: Alf Jacques / The Stickmaker / US Lacrosse - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKb1rArGurA&t=16s and, How Native American Lacrosse Sticks are Carved From Hickory Wood / Still Standing / Insider Business - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_USWpG9xKUg Jacques died at the age of 74 on June 14, 2023. Note: 2023 NAIAHF inductee Barry Powless provided the artwork of Alfie Jacques. He said Alfie gave him a picture of his dad Lou when they visited and he included Lou in the artwork.

  • Tanner Albers, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa

    < Back Tanner Albers ​ ​ ​ Tanner Albers Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Induction Category: Year Inducted Athlete 2022 Tanner Albers was a team captain for the 1994 and 1995 Boys Basketball Teams at Takini High in South Dakota. In both of those years he was the team’s leading scorer, earning All-State and All-Tournament honors while leading the Skyhawks to back-to-back state tournament appearances. He was also a team captain for the 1997-98 United Tribes Technical College (UTTC) Thunderbirds where he led them to the school’s first Junior College National Tournament appearance. That year he earned 1st Team Mon-Dak All-Region, Mon-Dak Region 8 Player of the Year, and was the school’s first, 1st Team All-American. Tanner is currently still the school’s all-time leading scorer UTTC. Tanner played for the Division I Delaware State University Hornets for the 1998-99 season and finished up his collegiate basketball career at the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND. Up until his passing in 2010, Tanner had traveled across North America, playing in many basketball tournaments with teams Iron 5, Iron Boy, Rim Rats, Pure Method, and many others. He would often receive MVP, All-Star, and others honors because of his amazing scoring and shooting talents. He had the opportunity to coach at the collegiate level and was a co-creator of HOOPGOD Basketball Camps. <Back

  • Jim Neilson, Big River First Nation

    < Back Jim Neilson ​ ​ ​ Jim Neilson Big River First Nation Induction Category: Year Inducted Athlete 2022 Jim Neilson was one of the first Indigenous superstars in the sport of hockey, playing in the National Hockey League for 16 seasons. Born in Big River, Saskatchewan and raised at an orphanage in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Neilson honed his hockey skills through his youth. At 17 he played Junior A with the Prince Albert Mintos in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. He made his professional debut at 19 for the Kitchener-Waterloo Beavers of the Eastern Professional Hockey League, named the league’s top rookie in 1962. That fall he joined the New York Rangers of the NHL for the next 12 seasons. He was named the Rangers top defenseman in 1966 and was runner-up to Bobby Orr for the Norris Trophy (top defenseman) in 1967-68. Neilson and the Rangers lost in the 1972 Stanley Cup Final to Boston in 6 games. In 1974 he was traded to the California Golden Seals, where he was named team captain and Team MVP in 1975-76. Neilson finished his NHL career with the Cleveland Barons for 2 seasons, where he again was the team captain. He was the team nominee for the Bill Masterton Award presented to the player who depicts perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication. His professional career concluded in 1978-79 when he played with the Edmonton Oilers in the World Hockey Association where he was a teammate of 17 year-old Wayne Gretzky. In 1,023 regular season NHL games, Neilson had 69 goals and 299 assists and was named to 4 NHL All Star Teams. Jim Neilson was inducted into the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame in 1996. <Back

  • Alexandria Town, Mi’kmaw

    < Back Alexandria Town ​ ​ ​ Alexandria Town Mi’kmaw Induction Category: Year Inducted Athlete 2024 Born and raised in Scarborough, ON, Alexandria Town is a competitive wrestler who has been competing on the Canadian National Team since 2018. Town is of mixed race with Black, Indigenous, and European ancestry. She is Mi’kmaw of the Bear Clan and is an engaged member of her local Urban Indigenous community. Town began wrestling in high school at the age of 15. She continued wrestling at York University where her achievements sky-rocketed as she trail-blazed a path for her school’s program, becoming the most decorated female wrestler in York University’s history. Upon graduation in 2018 she was named to the Canadian National team and began competing on the international stage. That same year Town competed at the U23 World Championships in Bucharest, Romania, where she won the U23 world title, putting her name down in Canadian record books as the first ever Canadian wrestler to do so. Town has garnered an impressive collection of international medals including five Pan American Championship medals, gold at the 2023 Egypt Ranking Series, and bronze at the 2019 Poland Open. Town still wrestles for Team Canada today with hopes of qualifying for the Olympic Games. <Back

  • Jack Powless | NAIAHF

    Jack Powless Category Athlete Tribe Oneida Year Inducted 2022 D.O.B. 8/14/1961 Jack Powless is a tribal member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin. A Air Force veteran with over 20 years of service (including 6 years in special operations) where he earned many awards, and recognitions, including the title of the United States Air Force Athlete of The Year, in 1992. After receiving his Fitness Specialist Certification, through the American College of Sports Medicine, he was assigned to develop fitness programs for special operations. He has represented his tribe, and the US Air Force, in multiple sports including triathlons, XTERRA (MTB triathlons), mountain and road cycling, running, swimming, and adventure racing. Some of his accomplishments include the following achievements - A veteran of 15 ironman triathlons, including 7 Hawaii Ironman World Championships. - All Military Ironman World Champion- 3 times (at Hawaii Ironman World Champs). - Florida State Mountain Bike Champion- vet. expert division. - Guam Seiko International Marathon Champion- 3 consecutive years. - Calistoga 50 Mile Endurance Trail Race- 4th place overall (8:20:00). His coaching certifications, including: -USA Triathlon level 2, -USA Cycling level 3, -USA Track & Field Association Level 1. -Fitness Specialist- ACSM Jack has been an avid leader in his community by volunteering, and coaching: Youth Soccer Teams Youth, and Masters Swim Teams Youth, High School, and Collegiate Track and Field Teams Youth High School and collegiate Cross Country Teams Youth, High School and Adult Mountain bike Teams Youth triathlon teams Along with coaching numerous National Champions, he was instrumental in qualifying over 300 youth cross country athletes to USATF Junior Olympics/National Championships. He also coached his daughter, Shayna Powless and son, Neilson Powless to become multi National Champions in mountain biking, XTERRA, and road cycling. Currently, both are professional cyclists, and representing the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin. SSGT Jack Powless and wife Jeanette Allred-Powless, USMSA (US Military Sports Association) Photo: Terri Galarneaux Head Shot Photo: Jack Powless Home 2024 Banquet 2024 Banquet Sponsorship About Inductee Search Provincial Nominees Contact Officials (Individual) More

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