Indspired Through Sports
Time & Location
About the Event
Join us as we celebrate Indigenous resilience and strength and hear six different inspiring stories about overcoming adversity and the incredble power of sport.
Inspired Through Sport will be taking place from 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM MST on October 14th, October 21st, October 28th, November 4th, November 12th, November 18th.
If you are not able to make it to the live session, you can still be involved! We know that everyone has busy schedules and might not be able to attend over the lunch hour, so all sessions are recorded and are available for registered participants for one week following the live event!
Our full speaker line up below:
October 14th: J.R. LaRose
A 9 year veteran of the CFL and a 2011 Grey Cup champion. A proud member of One Arrow First Nation, he is an accomplished speaker, who has been recognized and awarded for contributions to his community. A proud family man, JR’s path to success has been a long and hard fought journey that began in low income housing in Edmonton’s inner city. JR’s upbringing was significantly impacted by his Mother’s exposure to abuse suffered during her time at a Residential School. JR overcame an environment of poverty, drugs, and abuse. The sport of football was the opportunity that JR longed for. His passion for football as a youth would turn out to be his profession as a young man. Now retired from football, JR is a gifted speaker, whose story of redemption is universal, breaking down racial and generational walls, bringing forth a sense of hope and humanity.
October 21st: Dakota Louis
Born and raised in Browning Montana on a family ranch. Dakota is raising and selling black angus cattle and quarter horses when he is not on the rodeo trail. A member of the Northern Cheyenne and Northern Cree Tribes Dakota has ridden 10 years pro for the World Professional Bullriders with 419 career outs with the PBR and has also qualified for the Indian National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.
October 28th: Kendra Jessie
Kendra Jessie is a Cree and Ukrainian woman from Sucker Creek First Nation in traditional Treaty 8 Territory in northern Alberta. As an Indigenous woman, she uses her Instagram and Tik Tok platform to educate on Indigenous culture and spread awareness on issues of Indigenous communities, as well as inspire future generations. Kendra loves to share her culture through the art of dance as she is a fancy shawl dancer.
Kendra is a certified personal fitness trainer, Nike N7 athlete, and wellness facilitator who advocates for healing and balance within Indigenous communities through mindful movement, holistic health, and cultural practices. She has a Bachelor of Sport Management Honours degree from Brock University. Her passion for health, fitness and movement is driven by her childhood as an athlete where she played hockey for 15-years and competed at the university level. Kendra is a certified hockey coach through the National Coaching Association of Canada. She has goals to create inclusion and space for Indigenous people and their voices within the wellness and sport industries.
Furthermore, Kendra is a model and has worked with brands such as Cheekbone Beauty, Actery’x + The Chiefs Daughter, Section 35, and has appeared in two music videos with Indigenous rappers, Snotty Nose Rez Kids. She has been featured in Huffington Post, Read Range, and Very Good Light for her work as an Indigenous influencer.
November 4th Mathew Rathbone
21 year old Mathew Rathbone is a member of Bigstone Cree Nation living in Spruce Grove, AB. Mathew has won the Macs championship at the Saddle Dome, won provincials 8 times, played for team Alberta and played for AJHL and SJHL. One decision can make or break a hockey career and Mathew has a story to tell!
November 12th: Sonya Dodginghorse
Professional Barrel Racer, Sonya Dodginghorse is the youngest child of Louis & Bernice Taypotat of Kahkewistahaw First Nation. Louis along with his sons, daughters, and grandchildren have competed in the amateur, semi-pro and pro rodeo circuits throughout Canada and the United States. Sonya has made her home on the Tsuut’ina Nation for the last 12 years married to her best friend and biggest support Brent Dodginghorse who is also an Indian World Champion in the Steer Wrestling event and an alumnus of the WHL hockey team Calgary Hitmen. They reside on their ranch with their daughter Cayda. Sonya is a grade 5 teacher at the Tsuut’ina Middle School. She is an advocate for educating the effects of historical trauma from Indian Residential Schools. She is a role model for indigenous women and youth sharing her knowledge and experiences. She also volunteers in the community hosting youth rodeo events. Sonya is truly a humble woman warrior inspiring her daughter and others to learn, work hard and succeed. As a champion barrel racer, she also loves, respects and honours her horses by investing many hours and expense of caring for their health and conditioning while finding that balance with her own mental, spiritual and physical health and wellbeing.
Despite the pandemic putting a halt to goals and dreams, Sonya aspires to continue competing in the pro rodeo circuits to qualify for the 2021 Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) in Red Deer, Alberta, 2022 The American Rodeo Semi-Finals in Fort Worth, and the 2022 The American Rodeo in Arlington, Texas, 2022 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nevada.
November 18th: Angela Lighning
Director of Recreation and Culture for the Municipal District of Opportunity. Of French/Acadian and Cree decent, Angela Lightning was raised on the Ermineskin Cree Nation, within the Four Nations of Maskwacis. Being born into two cultures instilled the appreciation for all belief systems. Angie’s upbringing on the reserve offered a rich cultural experience, consistent recreational opportunity, and a sense of pride and honor in her blended heritage. Fast forward to her adult years, Angie built a home in a small Northern community-Calling Lake- to raise her family, which Angie sites as her most important role of all. Carrying with her the experience of community supporting recreation, her innate drive in advocating recreation for youth evolved into her current employment in recreation. In her current role as the Director of Recreation and Culture for the Municipal District of Opportunity, Angela feels fortunate to be in a position to have a voice for other recreation workers advocating for youth. She is grateful and inspired to be part of unfolding a vision that brings hope for youth, like it did for her as a young girl, being supported by a community who valued and promoted recreation.
- Personal$90+$2.25 Service fee$90+$2.25 Service fee0$0
- Educators$125+$3.13 Service fee$125+$3.13 Service fee0$0