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November 19, 2023
SANTIAGO – She’s only 23 years old but Desiree Isaac-Pictou knows the stories about past Indigenous athletes who went on to represent Canada on the international stage. Now she hopes to etch her name with those legends starting with the 2023 Parapan American Games.
When asked about her biggest role models, Issac-Pictou doesn’t hesitate to mention former Canadian national team water polo player Waneek Horn-Miller, the first Mohawk woman to compete in the Olympic Games and a Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame member. Horn-Miller was not only one of the top players on the team, but she was one of the first Indigenous athletes to have a voice.
It still reverberates throughout Indigenous communities across Canada.
‘’Waneek’s back story, the challenges she faced, her voice during the Oka crisis and how she persevered through that and still became an incredible athlete makes her a big role model growing up for sure,’’ said Isaac-Pictou.
‘’I wasn’t born when a lot of that was happening, but I heard the stories growing up.’’