Alwyn Morris

When he held an eagle feather aloft from the medal podium at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, Alwyn Morris held aloft the hopes, pride and sense of accomplishment of Canadians in general and Aboriginal Canadians in particular.  The Kahnawake Mohawk followed his gold medal performance in the two-man 1,000 metre kayak event with a bronze medal in the 500 metre event.  The eagle feather represents honour, friendship and life.  Mr. Morris has done much to symbolize all three in 38 years.  After 13 years with the Canadian National Canoeing Team, he served as a role model for the National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program.  His poster for the program, featuring the famous medal pose, encouraged Aboriginal youth to dream, succeed and never give up.  A recipient of the Order of Canada in 1985 for outstanding service and achievement, he has established the Alwyn Morris Education and Athletic Foundation and continues to coach kayaking, canoeing, and hockey for the youth of Kahnawake.  He has served with the Canada Games Council, the Canadian Sport Secretariat, and was a Special Policy Advisor for Aboriginal People and the Constitution to the Rt. Hon. Joe Clark during the Meech Lake and Charlottetown processes.  He was later Special Advisor to the Minister of Natural Resources.  He received a National Aboriginal Achievement Award in Sports for both his accomplishments and the light of his example.