Major Awards

Once again, the Manitoba Aboriginal Sports & Recreation Council (MASRC) will proudly announce our Major Award Winners on April 17, 2024. On April 24, 2024, we will be celebrating our Hall of Fame Inductees and Major Award recipients at our Night of Excellence, where we will honour the outstanding achievements of Indigenous Manitobans in sport. This special occasion recognizes the top athletes, coaches, and volunteers who have excelled in their respective roles throughout the past year.

The nominees represent Indigenous excellence on various fronts: from athletes gaining national recognition, to volunteers investing their time, to coaches building the next generation of Indigenous excellence. To the Manitoba Aboriginal Sports & Recreation Council, celebrating Indigenous sport stands as a top priority. Events like this are integral to our mission of celebrating Indigenous athletes, coaches, and volunteers that are shaping and changing the world of sport in our province and beyond.

Class of 2024 for Achievements in 2023

Cody Gunderson

Indigenous Athlete of the Year

Cody Gunderson, honored as Indigenous Athlete of the Year, is a proud member of the Red River Métis Nation. His standout performance with the Carillon Junior Sultans, leading in batting average and doubles in the Manitoba Junior Baseball League, culminated in a gold medal win with the Elmwood Giants at Junior Nationals. Cody's talents extended to an undefeated run and a gold medal with Team Manitoba at the 2023 North American Indigenous Games. Recognized as Rookie, Top Defender, and Batting Champion of the Year, Cody now sets his sights on a promising NCAA career with the Division 1 University of North Carolina Charlotte Niners.

Zoe Batkis, Cheer

Indigenous Athlete of the Year

Zoe Batkis, named Indigenous Athlete of the Year, hails from the Red River Métis Nation. Her recent triumphs include clinching the Cheer Provincials title and representing at the World Championships. Notably, she contributed to the inaugural Cheer Manitoba provincial team and earned recognition for sportsmanship and a positive attitude. Beyond cheer, Zoe actively engages with her community, volunteering with organizations like the Niverville Remembrance Day Committee and Bear Clan, all while excelling academically as she nears graduation from grade 12 this spring.

Jessica Chow

Indigenous Coach of the Year

Jessica Chow, honored as Indigenous Coach of the Year, is a dedicated member of the Red River Métis Nation. She actively coaches in various soccer programs, including the University of Regina Cougars soccer development programs and the Bonivital Soccer Club. Jessica's commitment to First Nations youth is evident in her involvement with the Treaty 4 Junior Cougars Program and as an Aboriginal Apprentice Coach at the 2023 North American Indigenous Games. Balancing coaching with her studies at the University of Regina, Jessica exemplifies dedication and leadership.

Dean Govereau

Indigenous Coach of the Year

Dean Govereau, named Indigenous Coach of the Year, hails from Fisher River Cree Nation. As assistant coach of the Manitoba 16U male softball team, Dean contributed to their gold medal victory at the 2023 North American Indigenous Games. His coaching extends to multiple teams in Fisher River, spanning U11 to U17 categories, with recent success including a provincial gold with the U15 team.

Benjamin Oman

Indigenous Volunteer of the Year

Benjamin Oman, recognized as Indigenous Volunteer of the Year, proudly represents the York Factory Cree Nation. He contributes significantly to sports and community activities in Churchill, organizing hockey, baseball, and volleyball events for local youth. When Benjamin is not busy coaching or playing sports, he can be found at the local arena, ensuring everything is running smoothly and efficiently in his spare time.

Christina Keeper

Indigenous Volunteer of the Year

Christina Keeper, honored as Indigenous Volunteer of the Year, is a proud member of the Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation. Her longstanding commitment to Team Manitoba's female NAHC team as a coach, athletic therapist, and trainer underscores her dedication. Christina's recent involvement at the 2023 North American Indigenous Games as a soccer team trainer highlights her ongoing support for youth in Indigenous communities, particularly in the realm of physical therapy.

For more information regarding both the Hall of Fame & our Major Awards, please contact:

Carriera Lamoureux

Director of Special Projects


Tom Longboat Awards

The Tom Longboat Awards were established in 1951 to recognize Aboriginal athletes for their outstanding contributions to sport in Canada. With a few exceptions, the Awards have been given out every year since its inauguration. It remains the longest standing and one of the most prestigious awards for the Aboriginal athletes in the country.

As a program of the Aboriginal Sport Circle, the Tom Longboat Awards provide a forum for acknowledging the growth and strength of the Aboriginal sport movement in Canada and its tremendous impact on the sport development from community level participation to elite level competition.

2023 Award Recipients

Trina Ross

Once again, for the second consecutive year, Pimicikamak Okimawin proudly celebrates the recognition of another outstanding female athlete with the prestigious Tom Longboat Award. This year, we extend our heartfelt congratulations to Trina Ross from Pimicikamak for her well-deserved honor as the recipient of the esteemed Tom Longboat Award.

In 2022, Trina stood as the lone Indigenous athlete representing Canada on the national dragon boat team, and she brought immense pride to our nation by achieving a remarkable feat at the ICF Dragon Boat World Championships in the Czech Republic. Her extraordinary accomplishments include an impressive collection of 8 medals, comprising 3 gold medals, 1 silver medal, and 4 bronze medals.

Trina serves as an exceptional role model, inspiring Indigenous athletes of all ages not only within our province but also across our great nation.

We are excited to announce that Trina will receive her well-earned recognition at the upcoming 67th Annual Order of Sport Awards Ceremony next month in Gatineau, Quebec. Joining her in this prestigious honor is another Manitoba-born athlete, Red River Metis, and the 2023 Tom Longboat Award recipient, Connor Church.

Connor Church

For the second year in a row, Connor Church as been chosen as the male recipient for the Tom Longboat Award.

Connor is a member of the Manitoba Metis Federation. He is also a National Team member for Wrestling Canada, winning his first nationals this year, 2022. After winning Nationals Connor went on to win Canada Cup and the Canada Summer Games in his weight class. Over the summer Connor competed at the U20 PanAm Championships, where he placed 3rd overall.

Connor is currently attending Concordia University where he is studying Business Development. He is training as a member of the Varsity team at Concordia and with the Montreal Wrestling club. He is also planning to give back to the sport and community by being a coach at NAIG 2023.

To watch his story, click HERE.

Decade Awards

MASRC's Indigenous Sports Decade Awards (2010-2020)

Each year the MASRC honours athletes, coaches, and volunteers who demonstrate great determination, leadership, and giving back to their community.

This year our annual awards will be celebrating a decade! With the cancellation of most sports this year due to Covid, it's an opportunity to celebrate a career award rather than a season award.

The award recipients are chosen by following a strict set of guidelines and are selected through the Award/Scholarship Selection Committee.

Nominate an athlete, coach or volunteer that has had a successful showing or impact on the provincial, national, or international stage. Submit your nomination by completing a form that can be found below.

Here are our winners!

Manitoba Indigenous Female Athlete of the Decade - Jocelyne Larocque (top-middle)

Manitoba Indigenous Male Athlete of the Decade - Zach Whitecloud (bottom-middle)

Manitoba Indigenous Female Coach of the Decade - Jayme Menzies (bottom-right

Manitoba Indigenous Male Coach of the Decade - Dale Bear (top-right)

Manitoba Indigenous Female Volunteer of the Decade - Jacinta Bear (bottom-left)

Manitoba Indigenous Male Volunteer of the Decade - Faron Asham (top-left)

For full media release, click here.

Monthly Awards

Click below to view and nominate an athlete or community champion of the month!

Athlete of the Month

Community Champion of the Month

Our History

Click on the links below to see past recipients dating back since 1999

1999-Present Aboriginal Athlete of the Year Recipients

1999-Present Aboriginal Coach of the Year Recipients

2011-Present Aboriginal Volunteer of the Year Recipients

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