The Aboriginal Sport Circle presented two Manitoban athletes with the 2021 Tom Longboat Award. Recipients Conner Roulette and Kerri Einarson have been recognized for their inspiration through sports for Indigenous youth. Einarson says she's very grateful for this award.
"It is such an amazing feeling and I'm so honoured to have won this award," says Einarson. "When they came to do the interview and present the trophy it was pretty special. My girls got to see the trophy and look it over, they were excited for their mom."
Einarson had a ton of success in the curling world over the course of the year so far. She won two national championships, those being the Scottie's Tournament of Hearts and the Home Hardware Canadian Mixed Doubles. Her team is also looking to represent Canada at the 2022 Winter Olympics which means she will have to win the Curling Canada national trials in November.
She says there's so many great Indigenous athletes.
"There are so many amazing aboriginal athletes out there and to be awarded this award is very special," says Einarson. "I'm very proud of my heritage and where I come from."
This is the 70th year the Tom Longboat Award has been presented, however, the meaning behind the award has changed a number of times. Since 1999, the award has been by the Aboriginal Sport Circle and represents Indigenous self-determination.
Einarson gives a message to young people striving to succeed.
"If a small town, country girl like me can achieve my dreams, anyone can," says Einarson. "Never give up and just keep working hard and you will achieve your goals."
Einarson and Roulette will formally receive these awards at the 2021 Canada's Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.