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November 22, 1957
Alwyn Morris was born on the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake. At the age of fourteen, he became interested in the Onake Paddling Club that operated on the Mohawk territory despite questions about why he didn’t want to pursue hockey or lacrosse. Morris excelled in the sport quickly, and at the age of 18 moved to Vancouver to train, where he met Hugh Fisher, his future kayak partner.
In 1977, he won the K-1 1,000-metre and the K-1 500-metre junior national championships. That same year he was named the recipient of the Tom Longboat Award for the first time and one of the most prestigious awards for Aboriginal athletes in the country.
In 1980, Alwyn Morris earned a spot on the Canadian Olympic team. He did not compete that year, but Alwyn and Hugh Fisher teamed up and continued to train in preparation for the Los Angeles Olympics. They raced in the 1984 Summer Olympic paddling competition in the K-2 event (kayak pairs) winning gold in the 1,000-metre competition and bronze in the 500 meter event.
Alwyn was once again named as the recipient of the Tom Longboat Award, was later inducted into the Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and appointed to the Order of Canada for outstanding service and achievement.
Alwyn proudly raised an eagle feather on the Olympic podium. This gesture was an important symbolic moment about honouring lessons he had learned from his grandfather including perseverance and dedication.
Following his career as a high-level and influential athlete for Team Canada, Morris has focused much of his time and energy in addressing barriers for Indigenous athletes. He established the Alwyn Morris Education and Athletic Foundation and continues to coach the youth of Kahnawake in kayaking, canoeing, and hockey.
He was influential in the development of and continues to serve with the Aboriginal Sports Circle and has served with the Canada Games Council, the Canadian Sport Secretariat, and as a Special Policy Advisor for Aboriginal People and the Constitution to the Rt. Hon. Joe Clark during the Meech Lake and Charlottetown processes.
In 1988, 2004 and 2010, Alwyn had the honour of bearing the Olympic torch through the Kahnawake Territory for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
On June 21, 2022, Western University bestowed an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in recognition of his outstanding contributions to Indigenous sports in Canada.