Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Taylor McPherson. I am a First Nations member of the band Miawpukek, located in Conne River, Newfoundland. I was born and raised in Calgary, where I participated in any sport I could in school from a young age. I have always been extremely passionate about sport and its essential role in developing individuals into good people. Sport helps individuals develop many life skills that help with coping, the ability to work with others, accountability, discipline, and so much more. I am a Wrestler for the University of Alberta Pandas team; I have been with the varsity program for five years but have wrestled for eleven seasons. Throughout my varsity career, I have attended Canada West Championships three times, receiving two Bronze and a Gold; I have competed in one USport Championships, where I received a silver medal. I am also a two-time U23 World Team Member. I represented Team Canada last fall in Belgrade, Serbia, and I will be attending again to represent this upcoming fall in Pontevedra, Spain. I am a recent graduate of the University of Alberta and will return for my Master’s in the fall. I am also an Apprentice Coach with Team Alberta Wrestling and will attend the Canada Summer Games in August. I have also been named the Assistant Coach for Team Alberta Wrestling for the North American Indigenous Games for the summer of 2023.
What is an issue or topic you are passionate about or would like to see changed?
I am passionate about working with Indigenous people in sports. I believe that sport should be accessible to every youth and adult. We must break the barriers to sport and create more inclusive and diverse spaces for individuals who wish to partake in sport and teach ways to develop those lifelong habits that keep us healthy. I have always had a passion for Indigenous topics as I am First Nation, and I have been on a journey of cultural revitalization and learning about where I come from and who I am. I aim to give back to sport what it has given me through coaching, passing on my passion for sport, and helping youth find that same fire. Working alongside my people on this same path of revitalizing our culture and uplifting our people has taught me so much, and I can’t wait for what’s to come.
What specific strategies would you like to see parents, coaches, or sport administrators do to improve diversity in sport or progress your cause?
I would like to see parents, coaches, and sports administrators take the time to learn about different cultures and to take cultural safety courses. I firmly believe that knowledge is power, and with more knowledge, you will be able to be a better person through building a
deeper understanding and connection to current issues. When individuals understand and know about the past matters within sports systems and how they have excluded many different groups, we can work towards developing a better system for individuals to strive in.
What is your favourite leadership quote?
“Success is never ending; failure is never final.” – Robert M. Schuler
Resource: Aboriginal Coaching Module: CLICK HERE FOR LINK You can get more information about how to register for the course from your local Provincial/Territorial Aboriginal Sport Bodies
Book: 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act: Helping Canadians Make Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples a Reality: CLICK HERE FOR LINK