Order of Sport Award Symbol

Class of 2023

Edward Lennie




Traditional Arctic Sports
Edward Lennie
Known today as the “Father of the Northern Games.” Lennie was a remarkable community leader and respected Inuvialuit Elder who worked tirelessly during his lifetime to preserve and promote traditional Arctic sports in Canada. Edward coached athletes in eight medal events at the first Arctic Winter Games. Events included the kneel jump, two-foot-high-kick, and arm pull, and Lennie ensured that other traditional games like the blanket toss were staged accurately as demonstration sports.

Known today as the ‘Father of the Northern Games’, Edward Lennie was a community leader and Inuvialuit Elder who worked tirelessly to preserve and promote traditional arctic sports in Canada. Born in 1934 near Husky Lakes (Imaryuk), Northwest Territories, Edward grew up hunting on the land and learning important skills through traditional games that tested strength, agility, and endurance. To preserve these centuries-old sports for future generations, he began hosting competitions at his home in Inuvik in the early 1960’s and successfully lobbied for traditional games to be included in the first Arctic Winter Games in 1970. The Northern Games have been held annually ever since, becoming a vibrant festival celebrating Arctic sport and culture in the Northwest Territories. Edward Lennie passed away in 2020 at the age of 86, leaving behind a living legacy that continues to inspire new generations of athletes in the Canadian North and beyond.


Connu de nos jours comme le « père des Jeux du Nord », Edward Lennie a été un leader communautaire et un Ancien inuvialuk qui a travaillé sans relâche afin de préserver et promouvoir les sports arctiques traditionnels au Canada. Né en 1934 près de Husky Lakes (Imaryuk), dans les Territoires du Nord-Ouest, il a grandi en pratiquant la chasse, tout en apprenant d’importantes habiletés à l’aide de jeux traditionnels qui faisaient appel à sa force, son agilité et son endurance. Afin de préserver ces sports centenaires pour les générations futures, il a commencé à organiser des compétitions dans sa ville d’Inuvik au début des années 1960. Grâce à son lobbying, des jeux traditionnels ont fait partie des premiers Jeux d’hiver de l’Arctique en 1970. Les Jeux du Nord sont organisés annuellement depuis cette date, devenant un festival dynamique qui célèbre le sport et la culture nordiques dans les Territoires du Nord-Ouest. Edward Lennie est décédé en 2020 à l’âge de 86 ans, laissant un héritage durable qui continue d’inspirer de nouvelles générations d’athlètes du Nord canadien et d’ailleurs. 

Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame is honoured to be presenting Edward Lennie with the prestigious Order of Sport award on Thursday, October 19, 2023 as a member of the incredible Class of 2023.