Get active with the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame!

Are you looking for something to do with your children this summer? Our Creating Active Champions summer program is a great way to have fun and stay active through the summer months. The program will begin on July 4 and run on weekdays through August 18.

Creating Active Champions has made some changes this year, so please choose one of the three options below that best suits your needs!

1) Bring your child or group to have 90 minutes of fun both inside the Hall of Fame and across the street in Victoria Park.

This program is geared towards children aged 4-12. A donation of $2 per child is requested. Adult chaperones must be present at all times. There is a maximum of 30 participants in each session.

The program is offered twice daily on Mondays, Tuesdays & Thursdays:
9:30 – 11:00 a.m.
1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

2) Drop off your child to spend a half day with us having fun and learning about STEM (Science Technology Engineering & Math) in sport. Each week will be a different theme sports day. This program is geared towards children aged 5-12. A donation of $10 per child is requested. There is a maximum of 12 participants in each session.

The program is offered twice daily on Wednesdays:
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

3) Let us bring the programming to your centre! Pick a morning or afternoon that suits you and we will deliver our programming at your facility, so you don’t have to go anywhere.

This program is geared towards children aged 4-12. A $25 donation per location is requested. Adult chaperones must be present.

The program is offered twice daily on Fridays:

One location per time slot, with two group sessions at each location.
9:30 a.m. – 11:45 p.m.
1:00 – 3:15 p.m.

This seven-week program begins on July 4, so please book early to avoid disappointment!

All individuals and groups must pre-register by contacting Vickie Krauss (306) 780-9232 or [email protected].


  • Outside activities will only proceed weather permitting. During inclement weather, all activities will take place inside the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame (SSHF) or your facility.
  • All group leaders/parents/guardians/chaperones must ensure their child is dressed for the weather and outfitted with sunscreen, bug spray and a water bottle. The water fountain in the SSHF building is off-limits other than to fill water bottles.
  • An adult chaperone must be present at all times with groups and individuals, except for the half-day sessions. We encourage their participation as well! For larger groups, we would appreciate a 1:8 chaperone/child ratio.
  • Donation fees for groups and individuals can be paid by cash, cheque or credit card. We do not have debit available at the location.
  • The SSHF reserves the right to cancel the program session if a minimum of 5 participants are not enrolled.
  • Pre-registration must occur a minimum of 24 hours in advance while programming space remains available.
  • We require at least 24 hours’ notice for cancellations.
  • The SSHF promotes admission by donation to its galleries on a regular basis. Summer participants are provided with a “donation pass” to encourage them to come back throughout the summer with their families to engage in our sport interactives.

A special thank you to our Creating Active Champions sponsors Community Initiatives Fund and Sask Lotteries.



Job Opening – Summer Program Assistant – Education


The Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame (SSHF) is looking for a summer Program Assistant – Education

The Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame and Museum is a progressive not-for-profit mid-sized NGO museum located in Regina. Our permanent collection encompasses approximately 19,000 items reflecting the sport history of the province. On an annual basis we offer a variety of temporary exhibits with themes derived from Saskatchewan’s extensive sport history, as well as a celebration of those individuals and teams recognized in the Hall of Fame. Exhibits are supported by education and special event programming delivered to a diverse audience spanning all ages.

Job Details:

In conjunction with the Education Coordinator the Program Assistant will:

  • Assist with the development and delivery of our summer education program, Creating Active Champions, to children 5-12 years of age through in-person and outreach activations.
  • To assist with the expansion of new in-house programs and/or education programming related to current and planned exhibits through research, identification and organization of program content.

Funded through Canada Summer Jobs, this position begins on June 26, 2023 and concludes on August 18, 2023. The hourly salary is $15.00.


Preferred Current Field of Study:

  • Education
  • Museum Studies
  • Experience or interest in education and working with young children is required
  • Strong communication (presentation and inter-personal) skills are required
  • Ability to work independently & as part of a team
  • Strong organizational and time management skills
  • Knowledge of basic museum practices and/or an interest in Saskatchewan sport history would be beneficial
  • Valid vulnerable sector police check must be provided


A resumé with three references should be forwarded to:

Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame and Museum – Attn: Education Coordinator
2205 Victoria Avenue
Regina, SK
S4P 0S4

Resumés are also accepted via e-mail to: to [email protected]. Please use Subject Title – Canada Summer Jobs Employment

Deadline for applications to be received is Friday, June 16, 2023

SSHF Board Chair elected to another three-year term at AGM

The Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame (SSHF) held their Annual General Meeting on Thursday, May 25, 2023.

The SSHF’s financial statement was presented along with the 2023/24 operating budget along with reports from the Chair, the Acting Executive Director, the SSHF staff, the Governance Committee, and the Sport History Project.

Trent Blezy, Chair of the SSHF Board of Directors, was re-elected for a second three-year term on the Board. He is entering his second year as Chair. The other Officers of the Hall also remain unchanged.

Trent Blezy, Chair of the SSHF Board of Directors.

To date, Trent Blezy’s professional career includes the Government of Saskatchewan and the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, where his main areas of responsibility have been in managing public relations issues and advancing public policy utilizing a variety of mechanisms.

As a volunteer Blezy has worked in fundraising capacities to support the Saskatchewan Children’s Hospital Foundation and has held a number of positions with various Constituency Associations through the Conservative Party and the Saskatchewan Party.

Two new Directors – Amber Day and Scott Kistner – were both elected to three-year terms on the Board.

Amber Day is employed at the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA) as Director of Human Resources and has worked in Human Resources field for 15 years. In her current role, she is responsible for the design, development and implementation of HR strategies, initiatives and programs that align with SIGA’s strategic goals and priorities. Day holds an Aboriginal Self-Government Administration Diploma and a Masters of Human Resource Management.

Scott Kistner grew up on a farm near Disley, Saskatchewan. He is currently the Assistant Deputy Minister of Lands and Corporate Services in the Energy and Resources sector for the Government of Saskatchewan. Kistner has served on several boards and been a member of organizations including: the Government of Saskatchewan Information Management Committee (2018-current); member of the Lumsden Lions Club (2018-current); member of the Canadian Payroll Association (2015-current); member of the Government of Saskatchewan Extended Health Care Joint Board (2015-2018); member of the Inter-provincial HR Information Management Systems Council (2014-2018), member of the Oracle Human Capital Management User Group (2013-current); as well as local sports organizations in Lumsden.

Samer Awadh and Laurel Garven both completed their terms on the Board. For Laurel this was her third, three-year term, while Samer served two, three-year terms. They both provided an incredible wealth of knowledge to the Board and staff over their many years of service and their contributions were greatly appreciated and will be missed.


The 2022-23 Board of Directors


Chair– Trent Blezy (Regina)

Vice Chair – Karen Meban (Regina)

Treasurer – Mike Babcock (Regina)

Past Chair – Robb Elchuk (Regina)


Amber Day (Saskatoon)

Tennille Grimeau (Saskatoon)

Scott Kistner (Lumsden)

Tim Leier (Saskatoon)

Jeff Lightheart (Regina)

Kelvin Ostapowich (Regina)

Christopher Weitzel (Regina)

Cary Wessel (Regina)

SSHF seeks Executive Director


Located in the heart of downtown Regina, the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame (SSHF) was established to honour outstanding Saskatchewan athletes, championship teams and sports builders, as well as to preserve the rich history of Saskatchewan sport through displays of artifacts, memorabilia, inductee portraits and citations. In attestation of the talent within the province, The Hall of Fame currently celebrates 540 inductees, representing 53 different sports and almost 150 communities throughout Saskatchewan.

Executive Director

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director (ED) will align organizational capabilities, programs, and services in pursuit of the Mission, Vision, and Values of SSHF.  The ED is responsible for the day-to-day management of SSHF’s operations including sponsorship, marketing, advertising, budgeting, staffing and special events.  The ED will provide strategic leadership to deliver the Board of Director’s long-term organizational plans; create and communicate a shared vision where all members of the team work together to achieve organizational goals; and enhance brand awareness of the organization.

To excel in this role, the ideal candidate will, first and foremost, love sport and the nostalgia that accompanies it. As the face of the organization, their enthusiasm for celebrating sport will be contagious and on a level that matches the effort and dedication athletes commit to their respective pursuits.  The ideal candidate enjoys creating buzz around events that celebrate the success of others, and is at their best when in the community, generating excitement and building relationships with athletes, teams, and sports builders who all share a spirit and passion for sport.

The ideal candidate is results-oriented and focused on the big picture. This person is an enthusiastic advocate of the SSHF and committed to enhancing awareness of the organization within the province.

This opportunity will resonate with individuals who possess:

  • An appropriate combination of education and experience.
  • Experience:
    • in venue and facilities management.
    • developing, managing, and monitoring budgets and finances.
    • leading, coaching, and motivating staff and volunteers.
    • developing, coordinating, and implementing inclusive programs, projects, and strategies in a museum and/or cultural setting.
    • leveraging contemporary marketing and communications platforms to promote the organization, events and milestones including content marketing, social media, and digital storytelling.
    • developing and nurturing community partnerships.
    • developing fundraising campaigns and accessing philanthropic donors.
    • in public relations and public speaking.
    • in board governance and reporting within the not-for-profit sector.

This is not merely a job, but rather a vocation, intent on creating authentic experiences for visitors, for igniting interest is sport – both past and future, and for inspiring and educating so that the province can continue to build on Saskatchewan’s legacy of performance.

If you are an authentic leader who is committed to celebrating the province and its athletes, we would like to hear from you!

To discuss this opportunity in confidence, please call (306)543-1666.

Resumes can be directed to: [email protected] or you can apply online.



Sheila Kelly ends her remarkable career with the Hall of Fame

The mission of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame (SSHF) is to recognize sport excellence, preserve sport history, and educate the public about the role of sport in Saskatchewan’s cultural fabric.

Now it is time to recognize the contributions of one of our own and their work preserving, honouring and sharing the rich sporting history of Saskatchewan.

Sheila Kelly is leaving her post as Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame after 34 years leading the organization.

Sheila started at the Hall of Fame in 1989 and through the decades she has guided the SSHF through a great period of growth and stability. At the same she has become an industry leader in the sport heritage field in Canada and indeed across North America.

She received the W.R. “Bill” Schroeder Distinguished Service Award from the International Sports Heritage Association (ISHA) in 2017. The Schroeder Award is the highest honour presented by ISHA and bestowed to individuals for meritorious service of lasting nature in the sports heritage industry. The Schroeder Award is not bestowed annually, rather it is awarded only when someone has been deemed worthy of receiving it.

“Sheila’s dedication and commitment to sport heritage transcends her remarkable career at the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame. She is a former president of the Canadian Association for Sport Heritage (CASH) and a Schroeder Award winner, which is the International Sports Heritage Association’s highest honor,” said Shane Mailman, ISHA Executive Administrator and former President of CASH.

“Sheila has built lifetime friendships in our industry and has earned great respect from everyone that has met her. Sheila‘s career is the benchmark all of us aspire to.”

During her tenure as Executive Director, Sheila helped nurture the development of multiple satellite halls in the province. The SSHF’s Sport History Project grant is unique to Saskatchewan and since the late 1980s has allowed organizations to complete more than 40 projects that capture the sport history of our province through a variety of means. Sheila also oversaw a successful 50th-anniversary celebration that included the launch of the SSHF’s 53-foot mobile exhibit trailer. The project is unique amongst halls of fame in Canada and allowed the SSHF to fulfill its mandate of preserving and sharing Saskatchewan’s sport history with the entire province.

In the past three years, the SSHF has won the CASH Award of Excellence twice, an ISHY Award from ISHA and a Museum Associations of Saskatchewan Award of Merit. These honours exemplify the vision Sheila and her staff showed as the Hall of Fame diversified its programming and remained an industry leader through the COVID-19 pandemic. In total, the SSHF received nine significant local, provincial, national, or international awards while Sheila was Executive Director.

This spring the final phase of our Hall of Fame Gallery redevelopment was completed under Sheila’s leadership.

Succession planning had begun with an eye toward Sheila’s eventual retirement, however, that process was accelerated when she took a medical leave of absence earlier this spring.

With that in mind, the SSHF Board of Directors has contracted Leadership Source from Regina to help lead the search for a new full-time Executive Director for the SSHF.

SSHF Curator Bryann Seib has taken on the role as the Acting Executive Director for the past two months and has guided the Hall of Fame through our fiscal year-end, our annual audit, and the rest of the day-to-day business of the Hall of Fame.

We wish Sheila all the best in the future and congratulate her on a remarkable career here at the Hall of Fame.

Never Give Up once again full for spring offering

The Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame continues to deliver the inspiring stories of our inductees to students across the province through the Never Give Up program.

The program debuted in 2011 and was such a success that it developed into an annual offering. While the involvement of Ted Jaleta has been one of the hallmarks of the program, the involvement of other sports figures from Saskatchewan has been essential to its success. All of these individuals have overcome obstacles and hardships. They truly understand what it means to “never give up” and serve as positive role models.

The program is available to Grades 4-8 in schools throughout Saskatchewan. We are fortunate to have the support of SaskTel as our presenting sponsor once again. This year’s program will focus on various subject areas in the Grades 4-8 Saskatchewan Curriculum dealing with identity to showcase how sport contributes to self-identity. It will also highlight our feature inductees and Saskatchewan athletes who have made significant contributions to sport and society.

The presenters for the spring of 2023 are Arnold Boldt OC, Colette Bourgonje, Lisa Franks, and Colleen Sostorics.

The spring offering of Never Give Up will run from May 16 to June 16 with all 10 sessions full with students from across the province. This spring’s offering of the program sees Never Give Up delivered to schools in Dinsmore, Humboldt, North Battleford, Raymore, Regina, Saskatoon, Viscount, Wadena, and Wilkie.

Since 2011 Never Give Up has reached more than 20,000 students across Saskatchewan. In the past two years alone, the program has reached 41 communities, with 4,051 students taking part in 2021 and 2022.

Dedication to Sport available as a virtual tour

The Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame’s newest virtual tour features the exhibits of our 13 newest inductees.

The 2021 and 2022 induction classes were enshrined concurrently at the SSHF’s 54th Induction Dinner & Ceremony. Dedication to Sport: Our New Inductees features artifacts and stories from that great double-class of SSHF inductees.

Dedication to Sport is available as a virtual tour thanks to our partnership with Queen City 3D in Regina. Each tour allows the user to navigate through the space of the exhibit and click on tags inside the tour that offer stories, photos and videos to complement the exhibit.

This is one of several virtual tours that are available on our website which preserves them for the future and fulfills our province-wide mandate.

The Class of 2021 features athletes Justin Abdou (Moose Jaw – Wrestling), Rod M. Boll (Fillmore – Trapshooting), Colette Bourgonje (Porcupine Plain – Athletics and Skiing), Kaylyn Kyle (Saskatoon – Soccer), and Lyndon Rush (Humboldt – Bobsleigh). Shannon Miller (Tisdale – Hockey) joins the 2021 class as a builder and the 2000-01 University of Regina Cougars Women’s Basketball Team and the 2013 Saskatchewan Roughriders Football Club are being inducted in the team category.

The five members of the Class of 2022 are: Kelsie Hendry (Saskatoon – Athletics), Harry Winston Jerome OC (Prince Albert – Athletics), Rueben Mayes (North Battleford – Football) in the athlete category plus Antonia “Toni” Beerling (Rosthern – Athletics) and William “Bill” Brownridge (Vawn – Hockey) in the builder category.

Notice: Annual General Meeting will be held on May 25th

On behalf of Trent Blezy, Board Chair of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame (SSHF), this e-mail/post serves as an official notice of the Annual General Meeting of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame which will be held at the following date and time:

Date: Thursday, May 25, 2023

Time: 7:00 p.m.

Location: Virtually via Microsoft Teams

The agenda will include Annual Reports, Bylaw revisions, presentation of Financial Statements, the appointment of the auditor for 2023/24, and reports on the election of Board Directors.

The meeting package, plus the 2022 Annual Report, 2022/23 Financial Statement, and all other pertinent materials for the Annual General Meeting will be posted on the SSHF website and will be available for review before the meeting.

In the interest of the health and wellness of our Members, the Annual General Meeting will once again be held virtually via Microsoft Teams. Please fill out this registration form to receive your access credentials for the meeting which will be distributed no later than noon on Thursday, May 25.

All members of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in good standing are welcome to virtually attend and vote during the Annual General Meeting.

If you are uncertain if you are eligible to vote in the Annual General Meeting – or if you have any other questions – please contact the Hall of Fame at 306-780-9232 or email [email protected].

Magnificent seven make up the SSHF Class of 2023

The Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame (SSHF) is pleased to announce the seven (7) inductees who will become the newest members of the SSHF this fall.

The 55th Annual Induction Dinner & Ceremony at the Conexus Arts Centre in Regina on Saturday, September 23, 2023. Tickets are now available by completing the form at the bottom of this page.

The Class of 2023 features four inductees in the athlete category and three in the builder category.

The 2023 inductees are:


Jaime (Cruickshank) Boyer (Saskatoon) – Multi-sport

Ryan Getzlaf (Regina) – Hockey

Joan McEachern (Leroy) – Soccer

Hayley Wickenheiser OC (Shaunavon) – Hockey


Lorne Lasuita (Wynyard) – Multi-sport

Bernadette McIntyre (Bethune) – Curling

Noreen Murphy (Saskatoon) – Softball

This incredible induction class includes three Olympic athletes – two of which won multiple gold medals – and a member of the first Canadian team to compete at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The three builders each have decades of experience contributing to the growth of sport in the province.

Jaime (Cruickshank) Boyer competed internationally in both power tumbling and trampoline as well as athletics as a young athlete before competing at the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics in bobsleigh.

Ryan Getzlaf won a pair of Olympic gold medals in men’s hockey (2010 & 2014) as part of eight international competition he took part in. Getzlaf also won the Stanley Cup in 2007 as part of a 17-year National Hockey League career with the Anaheim Ducks.

Joan McEachern was part of the Canadian squad that made their debut at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1995. She won the Canada Soccer National Club Championship four times during the pre-professional era of women’s soccer.

Hayley Wickenheiser is one of the most decorated Canadian athletes of all time. She has won four Olympic gold medals and a silver medal in women’s hockey and also represented Canada in softball in the Summer Olympics. Wickenheiser is Canada’s all-time leader in goals, assists, points and games played. She is also the all-time points leader in the Olympics and the IIHF world championships which she has also won seven times.

Lorne Lasuita has been involved in 52 multi-sport events, including the 2004 Summer Olympics. He has represented Team Sask at 18 Canada Games and has been involved in all but one of the 25 Saskatchewan Games to date.

Bernadette McIntyre was the bid committee chairperson for the Olympic Curling Trials, the men’s world curling championship, three Briers, and two Scotties in Regina. She also was the co-chair of the 2018 LPGA CP Women’s Open and was part of the Grey Cup festival leadership team in 2013 and 2022.

Noreen Murphy was on the staff for Canada’s national softball for 14 years including the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. She was also the head coach of the national junior team. She won eight provincial titles in eight years as a coach in Saskatoon as part of her storied coaching career.

The Atlas Hotel (4177 Albert Street, Regina) is the host hotel for the 2023 Induction Dinner & Ceremony.

  • Guests can book their accommodations online, by contacting the hotel directly at 1-306-586-3443 or by emailing [email protected] and quoting the following Block Code 092223SHF.
  • The Room rate is $149.95 (plus 11% tax & 3% Destination Marketing Fee) for a double room (2 Queen beds). Maximum occupancy of five people per room (2 adults and 3 children). Additional adults will be charged $15 each.
  • Room rate includes a hot breakfast and complimentary parking.
  • Check-in is at 4:00 p.m. or later. Check-out is 11:00 a.m.

The Atlas’ cancellation policy is as follows:

  • 24 hours or less (based on 4:00 p.m. check-in time) will result in a charge of 100% of one night’s total guestroom cost.
  • 1 to 3 days’ notice (25-72 hours before check-in time) will result in a charge of 50% of one night’s total guestroom cost.
  • 3 or more days’ notice (73+ hours before check-in time) will not incur a charge

The Block hold will be released on August 25, 2023. Individuals can still reserve rooms but now it will depend on availability and may be at a different rate.

Tickets for the 2023 Induction Dinner & Ceremony are $110 per person and include a charitable receipt. Tables of eight are also available for $880.

Tickets may be purchased by completing the form below or by contacting the Hall of Fame at 306-780-9232.

School’s Out returns for Easter break

Kids out of school and don’t know what to do? Come and hang out and have some fun at the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame (SSHF)!

The SSHF is offering a new program during the Easter break to encourage kids to have fun and keep active.

Schools Out! is a 90-minute program that will run from April 11-14 and is being offered at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at the Hall of Fame (2205 Victoria Ave., Regina). The program will feature a guided tour of the Hall of Fame’s exhibits and then plenty of time to play and enjoy our multi-sport simulator, adaptive curling ice, and the STEM Interactive Gallery sponsored by SaskTel. The program will also feature ABC activities and allow time at the end to play and explore on your own.

Visitors to the STEM Interactive Gallery can test their vertical jump, their balance, their strength, their standing long jump, their flexibility, and their grip strength at our STEM stations. The multi-sport simulator is a popular favourite that allows visitors to test their sporting skills in a variety of virtual games like baseball, basketball, football, hockey, soccer, and more. Our four-rock adaptive curling “ice” allows visitors to slide their stones down the ice either from their knees or with an adaptive stick that affixes to the stone.

The Hall of Fame’s featured exhibit is Fanfare, while the Dedication to Sport exhibit celebrates our 13 newest inductees.

Participation for one adult and one child requires a $5 donation. Each additional visitor (whether adult or child) requires another $2 donation. We ask that children be accompanied by an adult for the duration of their visit and the adults are welcome to participate as well. This program is best suited for children between the ages of 4-12. Water bottles are recommended as the water fountain in our foyer is not available to the public. Clean indoor shoes are also recommended.

Donations are non-refundable. We thank you for your understanding. Participants will receive a tax receipt for the cost of their donation.

If you have any questions, please email our Education Coordinator Vickie Krauss at [email protected] or call 306-780-9232.

There is a maximum of 20 spots available for each of the eight offerings of the program. Please reserve your space in the program by filling out the form below.

New touch table and 3D artifact case add to visitor experience

The Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame was proud to unveil their new touch table and 3D artifact display case Thursday.

The SSHF partnered with Twisted Pair Productions of Regina for this next stage in our Hall of Fame Gallery development. The new touch table and a 3D artifact display case allows visitors more access to the Hall of Fame’s collection of artifacts and information on our inductees.

“We are delighted to see this project come to fruition. Through a generous donation from the Estate of Jordana Buchan and funding support from the Government of Canada and the Government of Saskatchewan, we are now able to provide our visitors with unprecedented access to our permanent collection at one time. In a facility with very limited exhibit space, this is a significant visitor enhancement. The touch table content and 3D exhibit case allow visitors to immerse themselves in Saskatchewan’s sport history and really self-direct what they want to explore,” said Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame Executive Director Sheila Kelly. “Additionally, the ability to continually update and expand the content available allows us so much more flexibility in how we interpret the sport history than our physical space allows.”


More than 500 artifacts were photographed and then rendered in a 3D format for the new display case. The images of the artifacts can be manipulated and rotated within the case so visitors can view more of the SSHF’s impressive permanent collection at once than can be physically displayed at any one time.

The touch table features information on each of the Hall of Fame’s 540 inductees. The information is organized in timelines that bring the history of Saskatchewan sport to our visitors’ fingertips.

This project has been in development for five years and has taken 15 months of dedicated curatorial time to reach completion. This project would not have been possible without the funding support of the following individuals and organizations: the Estate of Jordana (Ball) Buchan, the Government of Canada, the Government of Saskatchewan, Twisted Pair Productions, and Queen City Electrical.


SSHF marks Black History Month with new educational program

February is Black History Month and this year the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame is pleased to launch a new educational outreach program History of Black Athletes and Their Impact on Saskatchewan Sport.

The new program is being offered to schools across the province year-round as part of the SSHF’s educational programming.

History of Black Athletes shares the stories of pioneers like Robert Ellis “Stonewall” Jackson who became the first black player to suit up for the Roughriders on October 25, 1930, against the Moose Jaw Maroons. Jackson had a 45-yard run and recovered a fumble for a Riders touchdown in an auspicious debut. Jackson became the first black player to play in Grey Cup when the Riders faced Balmy Beach in Toronto in 1930. Jackson worked his day job as a railway porter on the trip from Regina to Toronto before playing the game and working on the trip back home.

The 1930 Regina Roughriders.

Players like Gabe Patterson in 1947, Chester “Cookie” Gilchrist in 1958, and Ed Buchanan and George Reed in 1963 came north to play football with the Riders and continued to break down barriers as they battled discrimination. Reed has related that he lived in a hotel for his first two years in Regina because he couldn’t find a landlord who would rent an apartment to him.

The History of Black Athletes program also highlights the stories of two recent inductees.

Harry Winston Jerome, OC had an incredible athletic career that was even more remarkable considering the adversity he faced.

Jerome was born in Prince Albert and when he was 12, the family settled in North Vancouver, B.C. There, locals tried to block the sale of a house to the Jerome family because of their race. The Jerome siblings had rocks thrown at them on their first day of school.

At the age of 19, Jerome burst into the global spotlight when he matched the world record time in the 100-metre sprint at the Canadian Olympic trials in Saskatoon. At the 1960 Rome Olympics, Jerome pulled up with a hamstring injury in the 100m semifinal. Several newspapers in Canada questioned his character with one even labelling him as a “quitter.”

At the 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, Jerome tore his quadriceps tendon and pulled up lame to finish last in the 100-yard final. The injury was so severe that he missed an entire year of competition. Even today an injury of that nature would be difficult to return from, but in 1962 it was unheard of and it was feared that Jerome’s career was over.

Harry Jerome receives the Order of Canada. photo courtesy of the BC Sports Hall of Fame

Instead, he returned to competition and silenced any critics he had with an incredible comeback that spoke to his character. He won an Olympic bronze medal at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and won the 100m gold at the British Commonwealth Games in 1966.

In total Jerome owned seven different world records over his career. He also completed his master’s degree in Education at the University of Oregon (where he was also a decorated sprinter) and after retiring in 1969, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau asked him to help create Canada’s new Ministry of Sport.

He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1970 and was named British Columbia’s Athlete of the Century. Today a statue of Jerome is prominently displayed in Stanley Park in Vancouver.

The National Film Board of Canada has an excellent documentary about Harry Jerome entitled Mighty Jerome by Ileana Pietrobruno. She also made a short film for the NFB, titled Harry Jerome: The Fastest Man on Earth which is available below:

Harry Jerome : The Fastest Man on Earth, Ileana Pietrobruno, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Rueben Mayes’ family history is a fascinating chapter in the story of the province. A group of black families – some of whom were freed slaves – left Oklahoma in 1910 with the promise of affordable land and the hope of finding a more accepting place to call home. The group named themselves the Shiloh people, named after the Biblical town where the once-enslaved Israelites rested on their search for the Promised Land after fleeing Egypt. They settled just north of Maidstone between Lloydminster and North Battleford.

Mayes’ great-grandfather Joe Mayes was the minister of Shiloh Baptist Church which was built by the settlers and is now a heritage site. Rueben’s great-grandmother Mattie Mayes was a midwife, an educator and a spiritual leader in the community. Approximately 1,000 African-Americans came to Saskatchewan as part of the migration, but in 1912, the Canadian government began discouraging black immigration. They went so far as to send emissaries to black communities in America to dissuade them from coming to Saskatchewan.

Rueben Mayes would be born in North Battleford in 1963 and would go on to become one of the greatest football players ever produced in Canada. He became the first Canadian to be a finalist for the Heisman Trophy representing the best college football players in America. He was a consensus All-American in 1984 and broke the NCAA’s single-game rushing record that same year for Washington State.

Rueben Mayes runs to daylight with Washington State. photo courtesy Washington State University

Mayes would go on to play six seasons in the National Football League. He was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and was named to the Pro Bowl team twice while playing for the New Orleans Saints.

Like Jerome, Mayes would go on to complete his Master’s degree, completing an MBA after retiring.

The Black Business and Professional Association created the Harry Jerome Awards in 1983 shortly after Jerome died. For more than 40 years the Harry Jerome Awards have celebrated black achievement in Canada in a dozen categories from business and entrepreneurship to sports and the arts. Mayes himself was honoured with a Harry Jerome Award.


Fanfare now available as a virtual tour

Fanfare, the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame’s featured exhibit, is now available as a virtual tour.

This exhibit shares the history of the Grey Cup and Saskatchewan both through the participation of Roughrider teams and also the four occasions where Regina has hosted the Canadian Football League’s championship game. Fanfare features some of the 16mm film footage that the Hall of Fame had digitized recently. The exhibit also celebrates the festival of fun around Grey Cup week and the communal qualities of professional football in Saskatchewan.

This virtual tour was created in partnership with Queen City 3D in Regina. The tour allows the user to navigate through the space of the exhibit and click on tags inside the tour that offer stories, photos and videos that complement the physical exhibit that is on display.

The SSHF’s full archive of virtual tours is available on the Virtual Tour page.

The impacts of the residential school system on inductees’ lives

On this National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame is marking the day by highlighting how two Indigenous inductees achieved their great success and achievements while enduring the effects of the residential school system.

The federal holiday was created to honour the lost children and survivors of residential schools, their families and communities. In the spirit of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s 87th Call to Action, the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame is reflecting on some of the ways the residential school system affected our inductees. We share two of those stories here as part of our learning and reflection on our shared history.

Fred Sasakamoose was born on Christmas Day, 1933 on the Big River First Nation and would move to what is now the Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation when he was very young.

Fred Sasakamoose, left, shakes hands with Chicago Blackhawks captain Alexei Zhamnov.

In his 2021 autobiography Call Me Indian: From the Trauma of Residential School to Becoming the NHL’s First Treaty Indigenous Player Saskamoose speaks candidly about his experience of being taken from his home at a young age to be placed in a residential school.

He discusses how important his family and community were in his life. His grandfather, his Moosum, Alexan, carved Fred’s first hockey stick out of a long willow branch. The young Saskamoose would skate on a frozen lake while his Moosum – who was deaf and did not speak – would ice fish and keep an eye on him.

Fred Sasakamoose wrote in Call Me Indian:

This was my world. A nēhiyaw world. A nēhiyaw life.

What I knew was that home was full of song, dance, and tradition. It was full of wonder and mystery. It was full of family, love, and community.

And then one day, in 1941, when I was just seven, all of that was taken away.


To be honest, I don’t remember a lot about the beginning of that last day of my childhood. I don’t know what Frank and I were doing, only that we were outside. My father was home, chopping wood out back. I remember that, at least. And it was fall. Perhaps we were helping dig potatoes out of the ground before the first hard frosts touched them. I don’t know. The twins must have been in the cabin. Maybe three-year-old Peter was with them. It felt like a normal day, the kind you have over and over until they all blend together, stretching to the edges of memory.

Everything is a bit cloudy until the moment a huge canvas-covered grain truck appears in front of our little cabin. Three men get out of the cab. One I recognize — the reserve’s Indian agent. Another is wearing a uniform. An RCMP officer. And the third is a pale white man with a hard face. He is wearing a long black robe that billows slightly behind him as he walks. He’s talking to my mother, and my father is coming around to the front of the cabin, but I can’t make out what anyone is saying. All I can hear is the sharp, jagged sound of crying. Crying children. It’s coming from under the canvas of the truck.

And then someone is lifting the canvas flaps at the back of the vehicle. And one of the men is grabbing Frank and lifting him into the truck. My moosum is pulling me in behind his back, is standing in front of me with his arms spread. I’m peeking around him, and I see one of the men coming towards us. My grandpa tries to push him away, but he’s swept aside and falls to the ground. My strong, protective moosum, the man who is mighty enough to lift the front end of a workhorse clear off the ground, is shoved aside as if he is nothing. And then I’m being hoisted into the crush of crying, trembling children. I can see my moosum struggling to get up. He is making desperate sounds, sounds I have never heard before. My mother is hanging on to my father, her shoulders heaving. My big, strong father looks helpless.

The last thing I see before the engine starts and the flaps are dropped in front of me is my moosum, lying on the ground, shaking and crying.

And then we are gone.

Fred Sasakamoose and his brother Frank were among a group of 30 other children who were taken to the St. Michael’s Indian Residential School in Duck Lake more than 100 kilometres away. The abuse and indoctrination were immediate upon arriving.

Saskamoose wrote:

And then we were being hustled into the building. Frank and I were separated. We were marched into a room where nuns set about cutting off our beautiful braids with huge pairs of scissors and shaving off the rest of our hair with clippers. Then we were forced to take our clothes off and shuffle into a windowless brick-walled room. There, coal oil, the stuff we used in our lamps at home, was poured over our bare heads. The foul-smelling liquid dripped into my ears, stung my eyes, burned down my back.

Hot steam began to billow out from a pipe near the ceiling of the small room. Water, soap, scrub brushes. After all those hours in the filthy truck, I guess some of the kids needed a good bath. But this wasn’t a bath. It felt like those nuns and priests were trying to scrub the colour right off our skin. As if they didn’t care that my mother made sure we were washed every day, our hair clean and brushed, carefully braided, neatly tied at the ends.

Sasakamoose’s further descriptions of life at the residential school are a difficult, but important read.

Despite all that he suffered as a child, Sasakamoose excelled as a hockey player and reached the National Hockey League as a 19-year-old in 1953 with the Chicago Black Hawks. In doing so, Sasakamoose became the first Indigenous person with Treaty status to play in the NHL.

Fred Sasakamoose with the Chicago Black Hawks Photo Courtesy : Hockey Hall Of Fame

Sasakamoose would spend 35 years as a Band Councillor of the Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation, six as Chief. He worked to give back to his community and build and develop minor hockey and other sports there.

Saskamoose’s book is available here and his story is both important and inspiring. It is worth reading in its entirety, as are the numerous other stories and testimony that chronicles the experience at residential schools.

The Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame currently has 10 individual athletes who identify as Indigenous and have been inducted. Those athletes and builders are: Paul Acoose, Colette Bourgonje, Tony Cote, Alex Decoteau, David Greyeyes, Jacqueline Lavallee, Jim Neilson, Claude Petit, Fred Sasakamoose, and Bryan Trottier.

In addition to the individual Indigenous inductees, the SSHF also has inductees who were members of an inducted team.

Kenneth Moore, from the Peepeekisis Cree Nation, was inducted into the SSHF as a member of the 1930 Regina Pats hockey team that won the Memorial Cup. Moore is also the first Indigenous athlete to win an Olympic gold medal.

Moore was the third of eight kids born in 1910. His two older brothers had been taken to the Brandon Indian Residential School in Manitoba – more than 300 kilometres away. The two older Moore brothers died at the Brandon Indian Residential School with no details or cause provided to the family. Kenneth would have been forced to attend the school when he turned seven. Instead, the Moore family fled the Peepeekisis Cree Nation in the middle of the night.

The family settled in Regina, which was still more than 100 km from their home reserve, but the younger Moore children were able to avoid the residential school system.

Ken Moore

Ken Moore

Ken Moore would star as a right winger on the Regina Pats junior hockey team. In 1930, the Pats met the West Toronto Nationals in the Memorial Cup final. Moore would score the game-winning goal with 40 seconds left which gave the Pats the series win and their third Memorial Cup in six years. He also attended Campion College and Regina College on a scholarship where he captained the hockey and rugby teams.

Moore later joined the Winnipeg Hockey Club and help them claim the 1931 Allan Cup, the national amateur hockey championship. As Allan Cup champions, Winnipeg also earned the right to represent Canada at the 1932 Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid, New York. Canada won five games and tied one to earn their fourth straight Olympic gold medal in hockey.

These stories from our inductees are just a small example of the countless ways the residential school system impacted the indigenous population.

The Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame is proud to be physically located in Treaty 4 territory, which is home to the Cree, Dakota, Lakota, Nakota, and Saulteaux people since time immemorial and are the traditional homelands of the Métis Nation. The Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame also celebrates the history of sport and the people from the land that is covered by Treaties 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, and 10. These lands have been the home of the Cree, Dakota, Dene, Lakota, Nakota, and Saulteaux people since time immemorial and are the traditional homelands of the Métis Nation.

Today the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame pauses to reflect on the enduring history of the residential school system in Canada, but we are dedicated to listening to and learning from the First Nations every day as we commit to moving towards reconciliation.

Fred Sasakamoose at the opening of the SSHF’s Indigenous sport exhibit at the University of Saskatchewan. David Stobbe/

To that end, the SSHF wants to continue to preserve and share the history of Saskatchewan’s Indigenous athletes. The Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame has a display case and video kiosk celebrating Saskatchewan Indigenous athletes and their achievements on permanent display in the Physical Activity Complex at the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Kinesiology in Saskatoon.

Our nomination process is open to the public and if you believe you know of an athlete, builder or team that deserves inclusion in the Hall of Fame we invite you to nominate them. You can learn more about that process here.