A long-time advocate of Indigenous sports has become a Hall of Famer.
Cara Currie Hall, who was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame on May 26, is keen to share her accolade with all other Indigenous people.
“I want this award to be ours because when one of us wins, we all win,” said Hall, who was inducted into the hall via the multi-sport builder category.
Currie Hall is from Montana First Nation, one of the four First Nations that make up Maskwacis in Alberta. She has dedicated a good chunk of her life to advancing Indigenous sports at the provincial, national and international levels.
“You never do the work in pursuit of an award,” she said. “You’re doing it for the seven generations coming.”
Currie Hall, who now lives in the North Dakota city of Bismarck, returned to her home province to attend the hall of fame induction ceremony held at the Red Deer Polytechnic.
Currie Hall was one of the organizers who helped launch the inaugural North American Indigenous Games (NAIG), which were held in Edmonton in 1990.
About 5,000 athletes are expected to participate in this year’s NAIG – the 10th edition of the Games – which will be held July 15 to July 23 in Nova Scotia, primarily in the provincial capital of Halifax.
Currie Hall’s advocacy work included securing funding in perpetuity for the NAIG. Indigenous sports across the country received a tremendous boost after the 1990 NAIG.
“A lot of things started happening quickly after the Games,” she said.
For example, in part because of Currie Hall’s advocacy, the Indigenous Sport Council of Alberta was established. She was a founding board member.
Currie Hall also assisted with the creation of the Aboriginal Sport Circle (ASC), the national body for Indigenous athletics and recreation programs. She served as the ASC’s first vice-chair.
Currie Hall also played instrumental roles in the creation of the World Indigenous Games, first held in Brazil in 2015 and then again in Maskwacis in 2017.
And she also held board positions with both the Alberta Sport, Recreation Parks and Wildlife Foundation and the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women in Sport and Physical Activity.
But she never thought she would be inducted into any sort of hall of fame for her contributions over the years.
“It’s humbling and it’s pretty amazing,” she said.
Currie Hall was also active in sports while growing up. Besides competing in track and field, she was a member of various basketball, softball and soccer teams.
The night before she was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, Currie Hall attended a celebration dinner in Montana First Nation.
“I told them there I don’t want this award to be about me,” Currie Hall said. “I want it to be about all of you.”
Currie Hall was one of three individuals inducted through the multi-sport builder category this year.
She was the only Indigenous inductee.
There was a total of 11 inductees this year, including the 1991-94 Olds Grizzlys. The Junior A hockey franchise won three consecutive Alberta Junior Hockey League championships those years.
By Shari Narine, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Windspeaker.com
Original Published on Jun 06, 2023