A Hurdle to Success: Symposium

The second instalment of the Hurdle to Success series – a free full-day symposium bringing together community members, sport professionals and academics to discuss critical issues and the experiences of Indigenous and racialized minority students engaged in post-secondary athletics – will take place on Saturday, September 27that the University of Toronto Scarborough from 9:00am to 4:00pm.

The symposium will feature keynote presentations and panel discussions from community members, academics and sport professionals including renowned social and political activist, and former Olympian, Waneek Horn-Miller. Breakout discussion sessions throughout the day will explore challenges and opportunities in three areas:

  • How Indigenous and racialized youth access and are recruited to post-secondary athletics;
  • How marginalized student athletes successfully pursue, complete, and graduate post-secondary education; and
  • The successful transition to professional sport including Pan Am/Parapan Am.

A Hurdle to Success is a panel discussion series taking place between 2014 and 2015, in light of the upcoming 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games in Toronto. Presented by the University of Toronto’s Anti-Racism & Cultural Diversity Office, First Nations House, the Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education, Hart House, the University of Toronto Scarborough and the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Ignite Initiatives; the series explores the relationship between indigeneity, race, sports and post-secondary education.

“Nobody knew I was Aboriginal until I was well-entrenched in the university sports system. When I let people know I was Aboriginal, things certainly changed. There’s racism – both overt and subtle that can exist among team members and staff.”

Janice Forsyth, Assistant Professor and Director of the International Centre for Olympic Studies at the University of Western Ontario, at the first Hurdle to Success panel discussion, “Access, Retention and the Culture of Sport at the University of Toronto.”

Join us as we continue the conversation exploring success in sports and school!


When: Saturday, September 27, 2014 – 9:00am to 4:00pm

Where: University of Toronto Scarborough

Cost: Free! RSVP at http://ahurdletosuccess.eventbrite.ca

For more information on the first Hurdle to Success panel discussion, go to  Access, Retention and the Culture of Sport at the University of Toronto .

The University of Toronto’s Anti-Racism & Cultural Diversity Office (ARCDO) serves students, faculty, and staff tri-campus. The office works in collaboration with other U of T partners to help facilitate and support the University’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. To contact the ARCDO, email antiracism@utoronto.ca.

About Waneek Horn-Miller

Young, frank, and hopeful, Waneek Horn-Miller has overcome discrimination, self-doubt, and an infamous incident of violence to emerge as one of North America's most inspiring Native speakers. With purpose and poise, she traverses the intersection of two generations of Native people, working to mend—finally—the dysfunctional relationship between Native and non-Native communities through social and political change.

Waneek Horn-Miller, a Mohawk from the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory near Montreal, was behind the lines during the Oka crisis, in 1990, when she was stabbed by a Canadian soldier's bayonet. This near-death experience marked a turning point in her life. Instead of recoiling, she came back stronger than ever. In 2000, she appeared on the cover of TIME magazine, in her role as co-captain of Canada's Olympic women's water polo team. More recently, Horn-Miller has worked to attract Aboriginal youth to higher education by building self-esteem and emphasizing a balance between education and sports.

Horn-Miller teamed up with the Aboriginal Peoples' Television Network and health experts to launch a fitness and healthy-eating initiative called Working It Out Together, which follows six Mohawks on their pursuit of better health. She is the Coordinator of the First People's House at McGill University. She is also an ambassador for Manitobah Mukluks, the world-famous Canadian Aboriginal footwear brand that has been worn by Kate Moss, Jessica Biel, and Megan Fox.