Kim brings culture to sport. She is an Anishinaabe Ojibway Grandmother from Shawanaga First Nation Reserve who carries the Spirit name Head or Leader of the Fireflower and is Turtle clan. She has appeared on TV, radio and in many news articles connected to her passion of Indigenous Knowledge sharing. Kim has worked with over 34 First Nation communities having organized many Indigenous events, authored 4 books, received city awards & volunteers on a variety of boards as an Indigenous Advisor.
Currently working as a Cultural Consultant Kim continues to impart traditional wisdom utilizing her gifts of song and storytelling. “The masters games are an acknowledgment that we can meaningfully contribute to our own culturally relevant health and wellness while having fun!”
The Johnston family are members of the Chippewa of the Thames First Nation. They all have many years of experience competing in the sport of canoeing. Sharilyn made sure to get Keir and Carlyn out canoeing at a young age – Keir was only 5 months old! When asking Sharilyn what sport means to them she said, “There are so many aspects to it – closeness, challenges, competitiveness, accomplishments, adventure and fitness. Sport allows us to share experiences as a family, whether it is competing against one another, traveling together, or staying active with each other. Sports are a great way to bond with each other. Now with our busy lives, it’s hard to see one another. Having the Masters games in Toronto will allow us to come together and compete against one another again.”
Keir Johnston – High Performance Coordinator
Keir is a member of the Chippewa of the Thames First Nation and is currently employed at the Aboriginal Sport and Wellness Council of Ontario. He recently transitioned into the High Performance Coordinator. He was a former National Development team athlete and competed for Canada 8 times in various international competitions in the sport of kayaking. Working with ASWCO allows Keir to focus on giving Indigenous athletes a high performance pathway in sport
Keir just recently attended the World Indigenous Nations Games. He said, “The World Indigenous Games was an amazing experience. It was just not about competing in sport but a celebration of life. Indigenous peoples from all over the world gathered together to celebrate their culture. The WinGames is starting a worldwide Indigenous community that was great to be apart of. I helped support the canoeing, archery and swimming competitions. It was great to see participants around the world competing against one another. I hope that we can bring the same welcoming feel to the 2018 Masters Indigenous Games.”
When Keir isn’t in the office, you can find him either kayaking his average 25k or in the water with youth teaching them the basics. In his down time, Keir likes to keep up with his favourite sports teams – The Toronto Maple Leafs & Toronto Blue Jays
Dano is from Cowichan First nation and is presently the Recreation and Sport Director for the community. He recently received gold at the 2017 and 2015 World Games coaching the Indigenous female soccer team at NIFA. Dano’s family has a rich history in soccer as his grandfather built the sport in his community. He started playing soccer since he could walk and considers the sport a foundation in everyone’s life. Dano has not only been able to use it to stay healthy and active, but also as a career.
Regarding the Masters Games, Dano said, “the Masters Games will benefit everyone because we forget about being healthy. We have lost a lot of young leaders and elders because we aren’t taking care of ourselves. The Masters Games will allow us to have fun, play and set an example to the youth. We need to stay alive and enjoy it so we can pass on the vital cultural teachings that come our way, so we can learn those things that have connected our ancestors. Our major games are about culture and identity and sharing song, dance and our traditional ways. Culture will be the foundation of games.”
Mekwan is a Regional coordinator for ASWCO overseeing all communities in the southeast region. Throughout her life she has always been active in numerous sports such as lacrosse, basketball and volleyball. She previously competed in three North American Indigenous Games as an athlete, coach and sport manager. Mekwan sought additional leadership opportunities and certifications outside of multiple workplace settings within Aboriginal organizations.
She is a proud Ontarian of Mushkegowuk Cree and Belgian descent as a member of Fort Albany First Nation. She hails mainly from Simcoe in Norfolk County, but currently resides on Six Nations territory. When asked about the MIG, Mekwan said, “The Masters Indigenous Games is not just about competition. It allows people from all different communities to come together and share experiences and build friendships”
Steve is from Bkejwanong Territory-Walpole Island First Nation and competes as a golf professional across Turtle Island, he assists with youth golf camps in Ontario. Steve was recently selected to be a Nike N7 Community Ambassador, and promotes Sport and wellness as a part of the Aboriginal Sport & Wellness Council of Ontario Team.
Steve will compete in the golf portion of the 2018 Masters Games being held in Toronto, Ontario. Steve said, “The Masters Games will be something we can all enjoy, wellness is who we are and what we believe in.”