A new exhibit at the BC Sports Hall of Fame is shining light on great Indigenous athletes in a first-of-its-kind tribute in Canada.
The Indigenous Sport Gallery opens Wednesday in Vancouver, and features memorabilia including the Chief Thunderbird headdress, several pieces on loan from Montreal Canadians goalie Carey Price, and wheelchair basketball player Richard Peter’s Paralympic medals.
A sneak peak at some of the incredible pieces on loan from the parents of Carey Price @CP0031 (including a game worn @CanadiensMTL goalie mask!) All for our new #IndigenousSport Gallery that will be opening this September! We're grateful for this amazing contribution- thank you! pic.twitter.com/ACQXjTLMS8
— BC Sports HallofFame (@BCSportsHall) July 6, 2018
The exhibit, which will be more expansive than the Hall of Fame’s Aboriginal Sports Gallery, is set to be a mix of athletic accomplishments and the complex history of Aboriginal participation in sporting events.
It’s in response to the 84th recommendation in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action, urging governments and organizations to educate the public on Indigenous sports history.
During a special grand opening event at BC Place on Tuesday, 2018 Hall of Fame inductee Alex Nelson dedicated the gallery’s opening to Indigenous youth with athletic dreams.
— Heather Deal (@VanRealDeal) September 25, 2018
“We are all dreamers, and when we wake up reality hits. Today’s dream is reality,” he said. “We want to dedicate this moment to all the young people of our future, that their dreams will become real and true, strong and theirs.”
As a child living in the village of Kingcome, north of Alert Bay, Nelson called soccer his saving grace in surviving seven years in the residential school system. He later went onto found the Aboriginal Sports and Recreation Association of BC.
Nelson celebrated the opening with former athletes featured in the gallery such as Lake Babine First Nation wrestler Delta Dawn Murphy, pro bronc rider Kaila Mussel and former Vancouver Canuck enforcer Gino Odjick.