ANSWER: When a medal or medallion is given it activates a relationship between the giver and receiver. The circle, as represented by medallions, is a symbol of interconnectivity between the natural world, self, family, community, and society. The creation of medallions today celebrates the beauty of Indigenous cultural practices and can be seen in part as a form of resistance, resilience, and flourishing. Every sport represented by the Indigenous Hall of Famers connects back to the air; one reason for this is because the air we all breathe sustains our bodies.
Between 1992 and 2014, Colette Bourgonje competed in seven Paralympic Winter Games and three Paralympic Games winning a total of ten medals.
Courtesy of Colette Bourgonje.
Joe Keeper was very proud of his service in the First World War as he felt it helped show his devotion for our country and our way of life. Courtesy of Joe Keeper.
Tom Longboat medallion awarded to Ross Powless. He won the regional Tom Longboat Award in 1951 and 1952.
Courtesy of the Brantford and Area Sports Hall of Recognition, 1984.30.3
Pictured here is Cameron Gayleard’s beautiful Métis beaded medallion presented to him by Manitoba Aboriginal Sports and Recreation Council in recognition of him winning the Tom Longboat Award in 2019.
Courtesy of Cameron Gayleard
The circular drum plays an important role in bringing people together and is often used in ceremonies. Pictured here is a member of the British Columbia delegation beating a drum before the opening ceremonies at the 2017 North American Indigenous Games held in Toronto.
Courtesy of THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch