#ChangingLives Through Sport - Michelle Eagle Tail Feathers
This is part of a series of stories recognizing local individuals for their contributions through sport
Lethbridge Reconciliation Week has come and gone but our journey continues year-round. The Truth and Reconciliation Report has five calls to action related to sport. One of the five is to tell the story of Indigenous athletes in history in collaboration with the Indigenous community and sports halls of fame.
Reconciliation Lethbridge and the Lethbridge Sport Council launched the #ChangingLives Through Sport campaign during Reconciliation Week to recognize and celebrate, past and current, Indigenous sport coaches, volunteers, athletes, and mentors. No other domain of community life has demonstrated sport’s capacity to connect so many young people to positive adult role models and mentors, opportunities for positive development, and help to acquire critical life skills.
Michelle Eagle Tail Feathers was the October winner of the #ChangingLives Through Sport - Parents in Sport campaign. She submitted a very heartfelt story about her partner, Andrew Black Plume, who is keeping the family busy and active with sports, physical activity and living a healthy active lifestyle.
We were very pleased to present the award in the form of a gift card to the sporting goods store Doug’s Sports, Michelle's store of choice. Doug’s Sports has been a long time supporter of the first nations communities in our area and their sport teams.
I would love to submit my boyfriend Andrew Black Plume in the draw for your October Parents in Sport campaign.
Growing up Andrew has always been a year round athlete and played every sport on the Blood Reserve where we are from. In high school, he won a lot of awards and received many opportunities to travel including the North American Indigenous Games, football at McMahon Stadium with many other players from southern Alberta part of a high school scholarship, and won many championship banners with his high school basketball and cross country teams.
Presently, he stays active playing in Lethbridge recreational teams like softball and hockey. He utilizes and takes advantage of facilities and recreational sports in our city.
Why I want to recognize him is because this past year he became a step father to all four of my children and two more we have taken under our wing who lost both their father and mother to alcohol and suicide. My children also suffer from painful memories and trauma from their own biological father. Not only did he open his home and heart to us (me and my children) but he also provided them with a basketball net in our yard, basketballs, softball equipment, a canoe, golf clubs, work out equipment including a punching bag and boxing equipment, skates, bikes for everyone, hockey sticks, etc.
When we first moved in together he searched endlessly on buy and sell for things people were giving away/selling to give to my children, our children now. A lot of things he got for free and had to fix himself but he did. He truly brought positive change into their lives by providing them with a good home, sport equipment and displaying a positive role model and example.
He has brought them on many boat rides, taught them how to shoot a basketball, had softball games with them but more importantly kept them busy and active in a healthy way. He is constantly planning recreational activities with his new found family that revolves around sports, physical activity and living a healthy active lifestyle.
- Michelle Eagle Tail
Posted November 24, 2020