Hall of Fame Inductee page:
From the 150 Anniverdary Celebration Event Program:
Gaylord Powless was a Mohawk lacrosse player from the Six Nations of the Grand River First Nations Reserve near Brantford, Ontario, where the Powless family has lived for over 200 years. Gaylord recieved his first lacrosse stick at age two and by age 17, he won the Tom Longboat Award as the best indigenous athlete in Canada playing the "Creator's Game", and carrying on an important family and cultural tradition.
He turned professional in 1968 and went on to a successful career in professional and senior lacrosse. He scored 63 goals in the 1968 season, twice as many as his nearest competition. He knew where everyone at play was at all times, was an unselfish player, and an outstanding playmaker. Throughout his career and beyond, Gaylord marketed the sport, playing in various arenas around North America in an effort to promote the game.
As an indigenous person, Gaylord had to withstand tremendous racism from coaches, players, fans, and sports writers. His reaction was to recognize that he was a target for bullying and abuse and to overcome it by being the best player and the highest scoring athlete he could be.
Sadly, Gaylord died on July 28, 2001, but his influence as a role model and inspiration to generations of indigenous youth carries on. Through the game of lacrosse, Gaylord helped create bridges, friendships, and goodwill between indigenous and non-indigenous players and cultures in Canada. In 2017, Gaylord was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.
Gaylord Powless (supplemental)
- Category: Member Supplemental