Athletes

Claire Robinson

British Columbia

Claire Robinson photo
I am Algonquin from Timiskaming First Nation in Quebec and I grew up in Vancouver, BC. My name is Memegwanh Kwe / Butterfly Woman. My mother taught me to appreciate my Indigenous background and to be in tune with both myself and my surroundings. I am a 2014 Emily Carr University of Art + Design graduate in Film, Video + Integrated Media. My belief is that to be strong, successful, and healthy I need to be balanced in each of the four directions (mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually).


Danesha Essex

Ontario

Danesha Essex Photo
Hello Folks! My name is Danesha Essex, I am from Serpent River First Nation in Northern Ontario. I come from an Ojibway community halfway between Sault Ste. Marie, ON and Sudbury, ON. I am twelve years old in the 6th grade at Our Lady of Lourdes French Immersion School in Elliot Lake, ON. I enjoy to keep active mainly through sports at school and the local minor leagues. At school I am on the Girls Basketball team and for the past 2 years we have won the district junior girls basketball championships. Outside of school I play soccer during the summer with the Elliot Lake Minor Soccer Association in Elliot Lake Ontario. We start soccer in late June and it runs through summer until late August. I also play hockey during the winter with the Elliot Lake Minor Hockey Association on the Peewee division house league. I really enjoyed playing hockey this past season, it was my first year ever playing hockey. I find sports a very good way to get to know other kids my own age and I have met some really good people and made many new friends through the sports and being a part of a team. I find that sports keeps me active, fit and healthy and teaches me new skills physically but also through communication and leadership. I have had many great experiences through sports and it makes me feel good to be active and to be part of a team. I will continue to try my best with the sports I am involved with and above all to have fun.


Joshua Coltman-Jewett

British Columbia

Joshua Coltman-Jewett photo
Joshua Coltman-Jewett is a young First Nation athlete that enjoys soccer and biking. He is a member of the Nuxalk Nation in Bella Coola, but he currently live in Squamish, BC with my family. He is just finishing up my grade 10 year at Howe Sound Secondary School (HSS). He has been playing soccer since he was 5 years old. He plays soccer with the Squamish Nation (all Native team) and our team is called Squamish Thunder. He has played on this team for three years. The team travels to a variety of tournaments between May to August in First Nation communities in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island. He also plays on the travel soccer team in West Vancouver. Our team name is the Strikers. He plays with 15 and 16 year old players. Last year our team won the North Shore Cup and we were the U17 league champions. His favourite positions in soccer are mid-field and defense. He is an avid cross-country and down-hill mountain biker. He was on the HSS mountain bike team this year and placed 12th in his age group. He enjoys mountain biking in Whistler on his spare time. This is a sport he would like to become more serious with in the future.


Kaiya Williams

British Columbia

Kaiya Williams photos
Ha7lh Skwáyel, my name is Kaiya Williams, Halat kwi en kweshamin. I am 29 years old and have two beautiful daughters named Wilaiya and Treleen. I am from the Squamish Nation and grew up on the Capilano Reserve. I teach Preschool and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Sníchim at Xwemelch’stn Etsímxwawtxw Skwul (Capilano Little One’s School) I grew up playing Basketball, Volleyball and Rugby. The sports I enjoy the most are Lacrosse and Basketball. Lacrosse runs in my blood, my grandfather, father, mother, brother, sister and numerous uncles and cousins all play or have played lacrosse. I attended my first lacrosse game when I was only three days old. Growing up, I always wanted to try to play lacrosse, however, as a shy girl, I never expressed about wanting to play. So, when I had seen that they were looking for ladies interested in playing for the North Shore team, I took the opportunity and never looked back. I have played for ten years now and this will be my first season with the Burnaby Burrards. We play out of Burnaby Lake arena; our team travels along the lower mainland and as far as to Victoria Island for games. For training, I enjoy running outside, going to Fitness World, shooting basketball hoops at the Chief Joe Mathias Centre or playing pass at our lacrosse box. I always find time, especially on my lunch breaks to stay active because my daughters are also busy with lacrosse, soccer and swimming activities. I am extremely lucky to have married my husband who also shares the same interests and have a lot in common. We support each other and continue to play in sports and lead a healthy lifestyle for our children. Starting lacrosse at a later age has shown me that you can achieve anything and it is never too late – it is up to you to make that happen.


Kelly Geris

Ontario

Kelly Geris photo
I began my fitness and love of sports in grade 8. I began running in a small running program that was for runners training for a 5km run. There I learned the technique of running and about endurance training. That year I also played for Oakridge baseball in London as well. I played the positions short-stop, first and catcher. Prior to grade 8 I completed up to level 7 in swimming and enjoyed that very much. In grade 9 I was in a gym class where we learned the rules and technique of different sports and applied them. I did cross country running for a month or two as well as did track and field for grades 7 and 8 participating is usually running based events like 100m dash, 400m relay, 800m long distance etc. In grade 9 I also continued to run on a regular basis, as well as was still playing baseball and was on a basketball team based on learning how to play basketball. In grade 10 I ran periodically. In grade 11 I joined my high schools rowing team and a few months later I joined the competitive team which was 6 practices a week of very hard training to be able to attend nationals which I did and came within the top 16. I also continued running throughout that year. This year I had started still on the competitive team racing 2000m(2km) races and 6000m(6km) races, soon after I took time off and got a gym membership to start weight training. I had taken a fitness course that taught me about cardio, endurance and weight training which I also helped friends to learn about. During the winter I weight trained and did cycling classes that I continue to do occasionally at the gym. This spring I joined a running program training for a 5km run this June with S.O.A.H.A.C (South Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Center). For the last 3 summers I have been going to powwows with my grandparents and learned to dance and have been dancing for the past few summers in the women’s traditional category. As of right now I am still part of that running program, rowing and conditioning at the gym every week and looking forward to competition dancing this powwow season (teen girls traditional).


Robert Essex Jr.

Ontario

Robert Essex Jr photo
Hello Folks! My name is Robert Essex Jr. I am from Serpent River First Nation in Northern Ontario. I come from an Ojibway community halfway between Sault Ste. Marie, ON and Sudbury, ON. I am eight years old in the 2nd grade at Our Lady of Lourdes French Immersion School in Elliot Lake, ON. I like to play sports at school and the local minor leagues with my friends and teammates. At school me and my friends like to play mini stick hockey, we have a lot of fun and sometimes we play against the older boys. Outside of school I play soccer during the summer with the Elliot Lake Minor Soccer Association in Elliot Lake Ontario. We start soccer in late June and it runs through summer until late August. I also play hockey during the winter with the Elliot Lake Minor Hockey Association on the Novice division house league. I really enjoyed playing hockey this past season, it was not that easy because I moved up a division and was a first year novice player. I like meeting new friends from soccer and hockey and I really enjoy being on a team and getting to travel to tournaments and staying at hotels with my team. I like to practise my hockey by taking lots of shots on net in my basement and stick handling with my practise ball. I have lots of practise and have fun playing road hockey with my friends and family. It is good to practise and to keep fit. I am learning to eat healthy and to exercise. Sports are a good way to live.


Robyn Boulanger

Manitoba

Robyn Boulanger photo
Robyn is currently 13 years old recently graduated Grade 8 at Shaugnessy Park School in Winnipeg where she received the Female Athlete of the Year Award and will be entering Grade 9 this fall through a 4 year High School Scholarship with the University of Winnipeg Collegiate. Following her biggest role models, her older sisters Raven and Skylar who were also former recipients and graduates at this school where they assisted in making a name for the Collegiate's Basketball program with Provincial Standings who also went on to post secondary playing College and University basketball. Robyn also looks forward to wearing a Wesmen Collegiate Jersey with Pride as her sisters did for the next four years as she completes her high school years.
Robyn is a role model in her community, she has worked and volunteers with the Anishinabe Pride Basketball Program and the Wasac program for inner city aboriginal children, she volunteers her Saturdays teaching younger kids the development skills of playing basketball. Basketball has always been her number one thing to do, she spends three-four days a week in the gym or outdoor court practising her shot, four days a week doing dry land training and chooses to live and nurture a holistic balanced life through the seven sacred teachings.
Robyn has formerly been a member at the age of 11 on the 15 and under division with the Nike Canadian Centre For Performance Team, she has travelled to the States for many Tournaments, in 2011 participated in the Alberta Indigenous games and won gold in her age division and she most recently was chosen as one of the 12 roster athletes for Team Manitoba in the 2014 NAIG games in the Midget Girls Division.
Robyn's future aspirations are to graduate high school and go on to play CIS or NCAA basketball focusing on a degree in Education, in particular she wants to become a Phys Ed Teacher and work with kids in the Inner City to get them engaged in sport through the traditional teachings. Family, Basketball and the Anishinabe Pride Basketball Program for Aboriginal and Inner City Youth has taught her the importance of being holistically balanced, mentally, spiritually, physically and emotionally, not just in sports but in everything she does in life.


Steve Tooshkenig

Ontario

Steve Tooshkenig picture
Steve began his golfing career at the early age of 6. His passion and dedication for the sport can be seen both on and off the golf course. He owns his own golf company, St. Golf, dedicated to giving youth an opportunity to grow and learn on the links. His family is comprised of golfers and he hopes to continue to give back through the game of golf. He grew up hitting a golf ball on the waterfront area of Walpole Island. Steve is a Youth Coordinator in his community, married with 4 children and he continues to compete as golf professional on the Great Lakes Tour. He built his company to bring more awareness for a sport that has truly changed his life – personally, professionally, and culturally. Golf helped him understand the importance of integrity for the game and the players he competes against. It has been an honor to bring golf related information to youth through media and other forms of networking. He wants to reach all youth golfers in North America and build leaders through the sport of golf. Golf has grown rapidly through Native North America and now is the time to build on that success.

Please visit St. Golf at this link:
http://stgolf.ca/