- By Kaili Berg
Founded in 2022 by Dan Ninham (Oneida) and his wife Susan Ninham (Red Lake Ojibwe), the NAIAHF honors and recognizes the Indigenous sports cultures of 27 countries of North America by highlighting outstanding leadership and achievements in individual and team athletics.
NAIAHF will recognize the 2024 class as well as 2022 and 2023 inductees in a banquet held on Saturday, March 16, in Green Bay, Wisconsin, at the Radisson Conference Center.
Here are some of this year’s NAIAHF inductees:
Shiloh LeBeau (Diné/Lakota):
LeBeau has boxed competitively since 2013, earning several prestigious awards, accolades, and titles and making history for her family, Native Americans, the state of Kansas, and Haskell Indian Nations University.
While attending Haskell Indian Nations University from 2015 to 2018, she traveled to Ann Arbor, MI and competed in the 2015 United States National Intercollegiate Boxing Association tournament, bringing home a National Intercollegiate Boxing Title for the first time in history to the State of Kansas and Haskell Indian Nations University.
She was the first full-time male or female college student to come out of Kansas and achieve this success and in 2018, she went back and did it again at the University of Champaign-Urbana-Champaign, IL.
LeBeau also serves as a Nike N7 Ambassador, an inspirational beacon in her community and that of the Native American and indigenous communities. She uses her platform as a positive resource to spread awareness of Native American and indigenous issues.
Teton Saltes (Oglala Lakota):
Saltes earned two Mountain West All-Conference honorable mentions during his college football career and was twice honored as a Mountain West All-Academic.
He is the only college football major award winner in the University of New Mexico history as the recipient of the prestigious Wuerffel Trophy. His four-year stint as a starting offensive lineman for the University of New Mexico football team showcased his exceptional athletic abilities. It cemented his legacy as one of the best offensive linemen to ever play at UNM.
In 2021, Saltes joined the NFL and was a member of the New York Jets. He played in the USFL in 2022 for the Michigan Panthers and secured a championship in the XFL in 2023 with the Arlington Renegades.
Beyond his sporting achievements, he addressed the United States Congress and testified before the New Mexico state legislature, advocating for mental health support for student-athletes. His role as a board member in the BEAR Project in Pine Ridge, SD, demonstrates his commitment to community betterment.
Richard Peter (Cowichan Tribes):
In 1994, Peter debuted on the Canadian national team and was a pillar of strength for Canada from 1996 through to 2012. In 1996, he represented Canada at five Paralympic Games, helping capture three golds (Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, London 2012) and a silver (Beijing 2008).
Peter has been part of one gold medal-winning squad (2006) and three that earned bronze in world championship play. He led Team British Columbia (BC) to the national championship six times.
Peter is regarded as one of the fiercest defenders in the world, an effortless scorer, and one of the game’s most sportsmanlike players. In the latter years of his career, Peter was still a regular national team member and played professionally in Germany with club RSV Lahn-Dill, where he lived part of the year with his wife, Marni Abbott-Peter, herself a BC Sports Hall of Famer.
At the same time, Peter was already racking up an impressive array of accolades. Twice named winner of the Tom Longboat Award as Canada’s Male Aboriginal Athlete of the Year, he was also a two-time Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association Male Athlete of the Year and the 2008 Canadian Wheelchair Basketball Athlete of the Year.
Lindy Waters lll (Kiowa/Cherokee)
Lindy Waters III is a Native American professional basketball player for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the National Basketball Association.
He attended Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma, where he started in over 100 games and finished his college basketball career with over 1,000 points, 250 assists, and 100 steals.
Lindy earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Sports Management. He is a citizen of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma and the Cherokee Nation. In 2018, Lindy was named “Indian of the Year” by the American Indian Exposition, one of the nation’s oldest and largest intertribal celebrations.
In 2022, he founded the Lindy Waters III Foundation, which aims to enhance and support Native American youth and Indigenous communities through sports, health and wellness, and leadership programs.
Jordan Nolan (Ojibwa):
Nolan is a three-time Stanley Cup Champion with the LA Kings (2012 and 2014) and St. Louis Blues (2019).
He was drafted to the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and would go on to play for the Erie Otters (2005-2006), as well as the Windsor Spitfires (2006-2008) and the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (2008-2010).
A 20-goal scorer in Sault Ste. Marie with the Greyhounds, he was drafted by the LA Kings in the 7th round (186th overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Nolan would be integral to the LA Kings Stanley Cup-winning teams in 2012 and 2014.
Like his father and brother, giving back to First Nation youth is important to Nolan. Having co-created the 3NOLANS First Nation Hockey School in 2013, he continuously sets aside time in his busy summer schedule to travel to First Nation communities across Canada to help teach hockey skills, but more importantly, how to be a positive role model and leader within your community.
Alexandria Town (Mi’kmaw):
Born and raised in Scarborough, ON, Alexandria Town is a competitive wrestler competing on the Canadian National Team since 2018.
Town began wrestling in high school at the age of 15. She continued wrestling at York University, where her achievements sky-rocketed as she trail-blazed a path for her school’s program, becoming the most decorated female wrestler in York University’s history.
Upon graduation in 2018, she was named to the Canadian National team and began competing internationally. That same year, Town competed at the U23 World Championships in Bucharest, Romania, where she won the U23 world title, putting her name down in Canadian record books as the first-ever Canadian wrestler to do so.
Town has garnered an impressive collection of international medals, including five Pan American Championship medals, gold at the 2023 Egypt Ranking Series, and bronze at the 2019 Poland Open. Town still wrestles for Team Canada today, hoping to qualify for the Olympic Games.
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