Search Active Circle

Content on this website will be posted primarily in English. Content in French or Aboriginal languages will be posted when available. We apologize for this inconvenience.

Coming to a city near you – the Pan Am Games! Everyone with an interest in sports is getting in gear for this big event. On the whole, Canadians are a very sports-minded bunch. However, there is one aspect of sports that has been largely forgotten – our Aboriginal athletes who have brought honour to Canada in many fields.

When you say “Aboriginal athletes”, most people think first of Tom Longboat, an Onandaga runner from the Grand River Reserve at Brantford, which makes him almost a “local”. Longboat, born in 1887, won the Hamilton Around-the-Bay Road Race, the Toronto Ward’s Marathon, the New York World’s Professional Marathon Championship, and the Powderhall Marathon in Edinburgh, Scotland. He competed in the 1908 Olympics, before turning pro. He served in France during the First World War as a runner, and later was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and the Canadian Indian Hall of Fame. No wonder his birthday, June 4 has been declared Tom Longboat Day by the provincial legislature.

Another great Aboriginal athlete was Fred Simpson from Alderville, Ontario. He didn’t start running competitively until the age of 28 when he won the Peterborough Examiner Road Race. By 1908, he was one of the top runners in the world. Both he and Longboat competed in the 1908 marathon at the Olympic Games in London, England. Simpson placed sixth. Longboat did not finish due to heat stroke.

Aboriginal teams also excelled at their own game, lacrosse, although in 1880 their teams were banned from amateur competitions by the National Amateur Lacrosse Association. Nevertheless, they formed their own association and continued to play and compete in their own World Championships.

For generations, Mohawks from the Akwesasne Reservations along the St. Lawrence Valley have produced and distributed most of the best wooden lacrosse sticks made.

Aboriginal athletes have also excelled in hockey. For example, Ted Nolan is an Ojibwe from Garden River, Ontario. He won the Jack Adams Award while coaching the Buffalo Sabres in the 1996-97 season, and subsequently became coach and vice-president of hockey operations in the AHL. His sons Brandon and Jordan also play professional hockey.

Jordin Tootoo was the first Inuk athlete to become a pro hockey player in the NHL. His older brother, Terrance Tootoo also played in the NHL.

There must be many more stories of Aboriginal success in the field of sports. We just don’t know about them. However, Aboriginal athletes have added richly to the woof and weave of Canadian sports. The least we can do is remember all of them on Thursday, June 4, Tom Longboat Day.

Read more here

Students from several of Timmins’ English public schools filled the Archie Dillon Sportsplex on Friday for the second-annual powwow to be hosted by the students of the Timmins High and Vocational School.

“With our powwow we invite all people from all nations to participate. It’s a celebration of culture and a celebration of life,” said Jamie Davey, the Aboriginal youth liaison for District School Board Ontario North East. “When we dance, we invite our ancestors to come in and guide us through the celebration.”

Timmins High’s powwow got its start in 2014 when a group of students formed a committee to organize it. After the inaugural run last year, the event was moved to the Sportsplex so it could accommodate the more-than 600 students and community members who came out on Friday.

The goal of Friday’s powwow was to provide another opportunity for students to be exposed to Aboriginal culture, said Davey.

“For so many years, our culture hasn’t been practised. In Timmins itself there’s only one powwow — the one at Northern College — which happens once a year. So we held our powwow on a Friday so we could invite schools to bring their classes in so they could experience our culture.”

Students and community members from Timmins and nearby First Nations were dressed in their colourful and elaborate ceremonial regalia to take part in the dancing, drumming and singing on the arena floor. Dancers ranged from two-year-olds to adults in their 60s.

The White Stone Cree Singers, which is a group made up of members from several different local First Nations, provided the music for the event using their ceremonial drum.

“We have grass dancers, we have men’s traditional dancers, girls’ fancy shawl dancers, women’s traditional dancers, and women’s jingle dress dancers,” said Davey. “Every dancer has a role, and their dance style tells a story. It’s all about nature and balance.”

Even those who were not Aboriginal or wearing regalia had a chance to participate in the dancing after the ceremonial Grand Entry. Before long hundreds of students were dancing around the powwow circle as well.

Read more here

MLSE Foundation announced Scarborough non-profit YouthLink as the first recipient of the $50,000 Toronto Raptors Community Action Grant presented by the Just Energy Foundation at Cedar Avenue Junior Public School on Tuesday evening. MLSE Foundation Chair Aris Kaplanis was joined by Toronto Raptors Basketball Development Consultant, Community Ambassador and Scarborough-native, Jamaal Magloire and Just Energy Vice President of Marketing Alan Shulman for the announcement. Following a cheque presentation, Raptors basketball development coaches hosted a clinic for participants of YouthLink's Triple-Double program. The $50,000 grant will directly support Triple-Double, which combines five-on-five basketball, literacy and numeracy to increase youth physical activity and improve academic success.

"YouthLink's Triple-Double program is a great illustration of the positive impact and driving force sport can have in the lives of kids," said Aris Kaplanis, Chair of MLSE Foundation. "We're very excited to see this program come to life and help youth in the Scarborough Village improve their physical activity through basketball while also continuing to progress in the classroom."

Triple-Double will be open to more than 100 youth ages 14 to 20 in Scarborough Village from September to May, and requires each participant to attend weekly literacy and numeracy sessions in order to be involved in the basketball component of the program. The Triple-Double program responds to a long-term desire for basketball programming for youth in the area and also offers mentoring opportunities to community members who want to support students' success through sport.

"In a community that loves basketball but doesn't have access to a gymnasium for organized sports, the Toronto Raptors Community Action Grant presented by Just Energy Foundation will be transformative in providing young people in Scarborough Village the opportunity to flourish in academic-focused recreation activities in a way that the community never thought imaginable," said Ronni Gorman, Senior Program Manager of YouthLink.

The Toronto Raptors Community Action Grant along with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto FC Community Action Grants are three $50,000 sport-specific prizes presented by the Just Energy Foundation that MLSE Foundation will award to non-profit organizations supporting youth sports programming in the city. Eligible non-profits can apply for all grants at, where submissions are reviewed by a selection committee before a winner is chosen and announced at a special event in their community.

"This latest Community Action Grant award to YouthLink continues the great effort of MLSE Foundation and the Just Energy Foundation to support youth achievement and empowerment through sport," said Deb Merril, Just Energy's co-Chief Executive Officer. "YouthLink offers invaluable services to improve life outcomes for youth at risk. We're proud to assist in their mission to provide support, guidance and opportunities to help vulnerable youth make positive life choices and achieve their potential for a positive future."

YouthLink believes in the potential of every youth and is dedicated to providing the support, guidance and opportunities to make positive life choices. Working alongside young people and partners in the community, YouthLink provides an integrated approach to community based mental health services, housing, educational support, mentorship, parenting support, queer/trans programming, recreation and referral services to support young people growing up in Scarborough. Founded over 100 years ago, YouthLink has grown to serve 5,000+ youth and families each year in Scarborough Village, as well as many other underserved communities in the east end. For more information, please visit or follow @YouthlinkTO.

About MLSE Foundation
MLSE Foundation believes all kids should have access to sport and the opportunity to develop lasting dreams on the playing field. With the support of all four MLSE teams - the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, Toronto FC and Toronto Marlies - the Foundation funds the refurbishment of local athletic facilities and programs that support kids through sports and recreation. Since launching in December 2009, the MLSE Foundation has invested more than $15 million into our community. For more information visit, or follow @MLSEFoundation

About Just Energy Foundation
The Just Energy Foundation was established in 2013 by Just Energy Group Inc. to help registered Canadian and U.S. charitable organizations secure the resources required to promote the health and well-being of communities in need. Funded entirely by Just Energy, the Foundation invests in local programs that work to enhance the quality of life in Just Energy's operating markets towards building stronger and supportive communities. Visit to learn more.

Read more here

Mark your calendars and come on down!

Sunday, June 21

Wanuskewin Heritage Park in Saskatoon celebrates National Aboriginal Day with a pancake breakfast and a day full of activities for all families!

Host of CBC Radio One's Saskatoon Morning Leisha Grebinski and online host Matt Kruchak will be celebrity hosts at the pancake breakfast beginning at 9 a.m. Breakfast is a $5 charge.

Activities begin at 10 a.m. and culminate with a Ceremonial feast at 6 p.m.
- Free Admission
- Hourly dance performances
- Beaders, painters & birch bark biter demos
- 7 different activity stations throughout the valley

Visit all stations, stamp your story robe booklet, and be entered to win a Pendleton Blanket! More info here.

Tune in to CBC Radio One's Saskatoon Morning with host Leisha Grebinski on 94.1FM for updates and coverage of the day's celebrations on June 21.

Read more here

Aboriginal university and high school students are being celebrated today at the University of Saskatchewan's annual graduation powwow.

More than 360 U of S aboriginal students have applied to graduate this June. They were honoured during a special ceremony at noon.

More than 1,700 children from schools across the province attended, including 304 Grade 12 aboriginal graduates, who were also honoured at the powwow.

"I feel honoured, I feel proud of me and my fellow classmates," high school graduate Shadee Bighetty said.

Bighetty said it took her six years to graduate from Oskayak High School in Saskatoon because she faced a number of challenges.

"I didn't have the best living conditions. I always had to move so Oskayak gave me the chance to graduate with the adult program," Bighetty said. "I'm so happy they gave me that chance."

High school graduate Leon Sanderson said he faced a number of challenges as well, including homelessness as well as drug and alcohol addictions.

"There's a lot of stereotypes of aboriginal guys especially, so that's why I wanted to be a role model cause I never really had any aboriginal role models growing up," Sanderson said.

The U of S has hosted the annual Graduation Powwow for more than 20 years

Hundreds of dancers, drummers and singers of all ages from across North America are taking part in competitions throughout the day, with $25,000 in prize money to be awarded.

Watch the video or read more here

Sport Manitoba is pleased to announce the creation of a new position in rural Manitoba called Coach/Athlete Development Coordinator. This position brings the support and services currently offered out of the Sport for Life Centre in Winnipeg to rural Manitoba.

The first Coach/Athlete Development Coordinator to be hired is Brittany Bruinooge. A Kinesiology graduate from the University of Manitoba, she is a certified Athletic Therapist and CSEP Personal Trainer. Bruinooge will be stationed in Brandon. Sport Manitoba will add Coach/Athlete Development Coordinators in other major rural Manitoba centers in the future.

“We undertook a significant review of the services and programs we were delivering in Rural Manitoba and we discovered a real need for the support this new Coach/Athlete Development Coordinator position will provide”, said Jeff Hnatiuk, President and CEO Sport Manitoba. “Given the results of our rural review and the tremendous success of the Sport for Life Centre we reorganized our structure to bring Sport for Life Centre services and support out into rural Manitoba.”

Bruinooge will provide a collection of services and mechanisms targeting athletes in the Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) Learn to Train and Train to Train stages to develop the mental, physical, technical and tactical requirements to achieve their desired performance outcomes.

Bruinooge will also target coaches by bringing more learning opportunities, courses and workshops to rural Manitoba. She will help facilitate communication with coaches to ensure Sport Manitoba is providing superior support and services to our rural athletes.

For further information please contact:

Greg Guenther,
Senior Manager Sport Development
(204) 925-5695
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Brittany Bruinooge
Coach/Athlete Development Coordinator
(204) 720-8066
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CPRA celebrates the month of June as Parks and Recreation Month. We take this opportunity to recognize the contributions made in the parks and recreation sector, while encouraging Canadians to get out and be active in their communities. This initiative raises awareness about the importance of recreation and the role it plays in the quality of life for all Canadians.


CPRA is encouraging followers on Twitter and Facebook, to show us how YOU are celebrating ‘June is Parks and Recreation Month’ post pictures to @CPRA_ACPL or to Canadian Parks and Recreation Association on Facebook, using #JPRM2015 over the month of June.

All participants will be entered into a draw for the chance to WIN 1 of 3 - $50 Canadian Tire gift cards to start your summer off right with new recreation gear! Whether you are taking a walk in your neighbourhood, joining a softball game, participating in a fitness class or enjoying a picnic in the park we want to see your photos. So get those cameras ready to take some pictures!

Post your pictures all month long!

Read more here

The opening of Canada’s first outdoor parkour facility is the latest step in an ambitious 20-year plan to transform Hastings Park, site of the Pacific National Exhibition and Playland.

Plateau Park was envisioned as a place of active sport and recreation that would complement the field sports available at the adjacent Empire Fields facility.

Dave Hutch, the Vancouver park board manager of research and planning, said the plaza offers alternatives to team sports for those who march to the beat of a different drummer.

“It’s energetic and self-propelled, and you don’t need a team or any sports equipment,” said Hutch. “For kids who don’t really fit in with a team environment, they can try this out.”

Plateau Park, or as Hutch calls it, a ‘destination urban park,’ is part of a gradual Hastings Park transformation that also includes greenway connections with New Brighton Park and Burrard Inlet.

On a sunny Tuesday afternoon, parkour aficionados Rene Scavington and Ma Yuet — limited only by their imagination — carefully and strategically mapped out lines and routes through the new parkour park.

Similar to how a skier or snowboarder chooses a line through a mogul field, the pair talk it over before flying through the air, landing flips and suspending themselves far above some rather unforgiving pavement.

“I’m already starting to see new lines and new opportunities,” said Yuet, launching some invert jumps and landing them all safely. “I could probably do this every day — there’s probably 1,000 different lines to take.”

Scavington worked along with city staff to come up with a challenging park for practitioners of all abilities.

“I do things deliberately — you can see me trying things out, and then building on that,” said Scavington, who describes his ‘Origins Parkour’ indoor facility on Main Street as a ‘10,000-square-foot playground.’

“I’m always thinking of new goals there’s a real sense of accomplishment,” he said.

Watch the vido or read more here


Share News

What's happening in your community? Send us an update and we'll post it here!onebit 41

Copyright (2014) Active Circle