Katelyne Stenlund
Katelyne Stenlund carrying the torch during the
Canada Summer Games Torch Relay near Kenora.
Click here for larger picture.

On June 24, 2017, Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) citizen Katelyne Stenlund carried the Roly McLenahan torch in the Canada Summer Games Torch Relay on its route near Kenora. Katelyne is the daughter of Theresa Stenlund, the Region 1 Provisional Council of the Métis Nation of Ontario (PCMNO) Councilor.

Winnipeg hosted the Canada Summer Games July 28-August 13, this year. Featuring 16 sports, over 250 events and a major cultural festival, the 2017 Canada Summer Games welcomed over 4,000 athletes and coaches and more than 20,000 visitors. Celebrating the Games’ 50th anniversary and acknowledging Canada’s 150th anniversary, the Canada Games are this country’s largest multisport event for young athletes.

This year’s torch relay started on June 23 in Steinbach, and continued through Kenora, Morden, Gillam-Fox Lake Cree Nation, Thompson, The Pas-Opaskwayak Cree Nation, Dauphin, Gimli, Sagkeeng-Great Falls and Brandon.

The Canada Summer Games Torch Relay is designed to carry the excitement of the Games to different locations around Manitoba as well as Kenora in Ontario. Kenora was included because it is the site for the rowing event, which is part of the Canada Summer Games. The torch followed a unique journey starting with the official lighting ceremony in Ottawa on June 6, 2017 and then traveled to ten communities. In Kenora, the Canada Summer Games Torch Relay made its way along Lakeview Drive from the Lake of the Woods Discovery Centre to the Whitecap Pavillion.

The Canada Games Torch was renamed the Roly McLenahan Torch in 1985, in honour of the late Roly McLenahan, who was an original member of the Canada Games Council and who demonstrated a life-long commitment to youth and their participation in sport.

Communities across Manitoba had the opportunity to nominate individuals to carry the torch when it reached their communities and in Kenora, Katelyne Stenlund was one of the nominees.

A big part of Katelyne’s nomination was due to her involvement in her Métis culture. Katelyne is a proud Métis youth and has participated in many regional community engagements by opening meetings with welcoming remarks, assisting with fundraising, attending elder and senator visits and also playing her fiddle at local events. Katelyne puts forth her best effort and dedication to each sport she participates and is a team player. She encourages and offers praise to those around her.

Among the other factors that made Katelyne an excellent nominee for being a torch runner is her outstanding involvement in sports including hockey, soccer, volleyball, basketball, track and field and cross-country running. She plays for two Kenora hockey teams as well as one from Winnipeg. All three of these teams fared very well this year with one team winning three of three tournaments; another placing ninth in the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association Provincial Championship and another winning the city championship for 2017. More importantly, Katelyne has been repeatedly acknowledged by her teammates and coaches for her good sportsmanship. She was selected Miss Congeniality or recognized as the best sportsman on her teams in the last three seasons.

That much hockey would be enough sports for most people but Katelyne is also an avid volleyball player, enthusiastic cross country runner and she also enjoys basketball and soccer. She has been part of provincial volleyball championships, has ran in the top five runners in several cross country meets and received the most sportsman-like award from her basketball team. Katelyne’s soccer team participated in the Winnipeg Slurpee Cup in June 2017 and placed first with Katelyne scoring the winning goal.

Among those who nominated Katelyne was MNO Youth Council President Mitch Case who wrote: “Katelyne shows her commitment to her community through her participation in Michif classes, through learning and teaching traditional Métis dancing. Katelyne is truly an inspiration to all young people, but particularly to Métis youth for her commitment to both sports and to her culture and community. For these reasons and many more, I am happy to support her application.”

MNO Kenora Métis Council (KMC) Senator Karen Cederwall also nominated Katelyne. She wrote: “Katelyne is an active youth member of the Kenora Métis Council and Métis Community. She has a strong sense of identity and has assisted younger youth in learning the Métis Culture by demonstrating jigging, talking about the Métis sash and Métis way of life to many young children at local schools.”

Another nomination came from St. Thomas Aquinas High School Principal Michelle Sawa, who said: “Please accept this letter as an indication of my support of Katelyne to be a torch bearer in the 2017 Summer Games.

Katelyne’s Métis pride and community spirit made her an excellent representative of Kenora and of the Métis Nation of Ontario.

Posted: August 31, 2017