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On April 22, 2015, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame will announce the 2015 inductees.  This Hall of Fame has thus far only selected 4 soccer players out of the total of 548 athletes that have been inducted:

Charmaine Hooper (2012)
Andrea Neil (2011)
Dave Turner (1955)
Bruce Wilson (2000)


Will there be a 5th soccer player inducted in 2015? :rolleyes:

Stayed tuned to find out.

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On April 22, 2015, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame will announce the 2015 inductees.  This Hall of Fame has thus far only selected 4 soccer players out of the total of 548 athletes that have been inducted:

Charmaine Hooper (2012)

Andrea Neil (2011)

Dave Turner (1955)

Bruce Wilson (2000)


Will there be a 5th soccer player inducted in 2015? :rolleyes:

Stayed tuned to find out.


Wow, Harry Manson is joining them. (If not, why would you put that smiley there?)

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Class of 2015 Announcement
  Stay tuned for the Class of 2015 announcement!


Media conference will be held at 10:00 a.m. (ET) on Wednesday, April 22, 2015.


The 2015 Induction Celebrations presented by Canadian Tire will be held in Toronto at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (former Maple Leaf Gardens) on Wednesday, October 21, 2015. More info to come.

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Congratulations to Craig Forrest, for becoming the fifth soccer player to be inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame.


Congratulations also to Harry Manson, for his induction into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame as an athlete in the Canadian Sport Legends Class.



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The following article appeared in today's issue of the Nanaimo Daily News:




Museum announces 2015 Hall of Fame inductees

Daily News
May 28, 2015 12:00 AM

The Nanaimo Museum has announced its 2015 inductees into the Sports Hall of Fame.

Harry Manson, Fred Fulla, Wayne Bianchin and Dr. Ed Johnson will all be inducted this June.

The Sports Hall of Fame acts as a tribute to outstanding Nanaimo athletes from the past and present.

It recognizes inductees across five categories: Athlete, Builder, Media, Pioneer and Team.

"We are proud to honour outstanding athletes from our community," said Nanaimo Museum general manager Debbie Trueman.

"They represent local achievement in all levels of sport and many are strong contributors to community athletics in Nanaimo."

The induction ceremony is an invitation only event.

Manson has been inducted under the Pioneer category after his local soccer exploits back in the late 1800s which has led the museum to describe him as a legend of the sport.

Manson was the only First Nations player to play on all of Nanaimo's European and indigenous teams.

His Snuneymuxw name, Xul-si-malt, stands for "one who leaves his mark."

Manson was been described as one of the best soccer players in Nanaimo back in his day.

Athlete inductee Fulla, also known as 'Fabulous Fred,' is regarded as one of the most recognized netminders in Nanaimo lacrosse.

In 1952, he set a record of 1492 shots on net which remains unbeaten to this day.

In 1954, Fulla won the Leo Nicholson Trophy awarded to the best goalie in the league.

Bianchin is also an Athlete inductee.

He played for seven seasons in the NHL, most notably with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

His hockey career then led him to play for the Italian national team at the Group B World Championships in 1981-82, where he led the tournament in scoring.

Johnson, a Builder inductee, was involved for 25 years with the Canadian Soccer Association as a doctor for many Canadian World Cup teams.

In 1984, he was national team doctor at the Olympic Games held in Los Angeles.

Sports @nanaimodailynews.com

Edited by Robert

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Had a wonderful time at the Nanaimo Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony yesterday.  In addition to the over 50 members of the Manson family that were present, Snuneymuxw Chief John Wesley was also amongst the many civic and provincial dignitaries in attendance.  Just gettting all of the Mansons in the same room was a miracle, when one takes into account all the dynamics that have evolved as a result of "life on the Rez."  Afterwards, I was invited to the reserve for a big barbeque.  Even after the 6 years that have passed since I first set foot on Snuneymuxw territoryy, it is still a very sad, eye-opening experience to witness first-hand the long-term impact and devastation that drugs and alcohol have had on this community, where almost everyone is related to each other in some way.  The most heart-felt words I heard was that all the recognition Harry Manson is receiving is bring a bit of light into a very dark existence.  All my relations.

Edited by Robert

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Dear Chief Wesley, Honourable Councillors, and Editor of the Snuneymuxw newsletter,


I have just returned from Calgary, where Harry Manson was officially inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, on Wednesday, June 17, 2015.


Snuneymuxw Chief John Wesley, Nanaimo Mayor Bill McKay, many Honoured Members and numerous descendants of Harry Manson were among the several hundred people that attended this incredible ceremony.


As you know, the Calgary event marked the third time that Harry Manson has been inducted into a sports hall of fame during the past seven months.


The Soccer Hall of Fame, in Vaughan, Ontario, on November 9, 2014

Nanaimo Sports Hall of Fame, in Nanaimo, British Columbia, on June 6, 2015

Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, in Calgary, Alberta, on June 17, 2015


In the past 24 hours, the Georgia Straight and Nanaimo Daily News have provided their readers with two detailed accounts of this very special evening:






In addition to these reports, the BBC (British Broadcast Corporation) will air Harry Manson’s story on World Service, on July 4, 2015, the day before the Women’s World Cup final match is scheduled to be played in Vancouver.


If all of this is not enough, the Vancouver Whitecaps intend to pay tribute Harry Manson prior to the kick-off of their MLS match against the Colorado Rapids, on September 9, 2015, by making Gary Manson an honorary captain.


All of this recognition reflects how important this Snuneymuxw soccer player is in the eyes of the rest of the world.  Harry Manson set a perfect example of how to conduct oneself in an environment filled with racial prejudice.  Harry is a hero and role model for the important lessons in life about leadership, teamwork, overcoming adversity, goal setting, courage, character, perseverance, dedication, integrity and excellence.


I respectfully ask you to consider publishing the two accounts above in your newsletter, as they contain the good medicine that Harry Manson set out to get for his sick infant son, Adam, the night his life came to a tragic end.


Wishing you all a very Happy Aboriginal Day.


All my relations,

Robert Janning   

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Monday, June 15, 2015 – My phone rings at 10:09 p.m.  Dean Manson and his daughter Lea-lah had just arrived from Horseshoe Bay and were now waiting in their truck, in front of my Downtown Eastside Co-op.  Our modest positions compelled us to stretch our limited resources as much as possible.  We had agreed to drive to Calgary at night in order to save on hotel costs and airfares.


Gary and Donna Manson had taken an earlier ferry across from Nanaimo to pick-up their daughter Meade and two granddaughters Mia and Summer in North Vancouver.  The others 4 in our party of 12 had chosen to fly to Calgary.


It was already dark when we hit the Trans-Canada.  By the time the Coquihalla had shepherded us to Merritt, our conversations ceased, and Lea-lah shoved in an the Rolling Stones’ Let It Bleed CD.  There must have been a millions stars out that night, as each of us drifted-off into our own thoughts with the smell of roadside sage seeping into the crew cab.


This was just what I needed.  The company of good people, the hum of tires on asphalt, and listening to that slow-cruising strum that only Mick and Keith can deliver.  We pass by Salmon Arm and Revelstoke, deserted places during these early hours.  Morning light begins to break through mountains passes.  The poor man’s mode of transport does have its privileges.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015 – 10:00 a.m. MST.  Emerging from the Rockies, we glide across Deadman’s Flats and through the foothills of the Stoney Indian Reserve.  Before we know it, were in “Howdy Partner” country.  Canada Olympic Park appears off to our right.  The ski-jumps from which Eddy the Eagle soared in 1988 provides a spectacular backdrop for the massive structure that houses Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, the shrine where Harry Manson will be officially inducted the following day.


The Sandman Hotel Calgary West is located right across the highway from C.O.P.  Wearily we check-in and wolf-down a quick breakfast at the adjacent Denny’s.  After having driven a 12-hour taxi-shift in Vancouver on Sunday, up all day on Monday, and driving all night until the following morning, I feel my legs buckle and my head getting light.  I pass-out as soon as I hit the bed.


I awake around 7:00 p.m. to sound of a hard-falling rain.  I take a $32 cab-ride over to an old drinking/toking/gambling buddy from the past.  Its been 22 years since I left Cow Town.  Through the screen-door, I can see my 400 lbs amigo stretched out in a large chair.  He is wearing a hospital gown with long elastic socks.  He smiles when he sees me.  I enter the smoke-filled room.  Immediately deprived of oxygen, I can’t breath.  So I don’t.  The television blares away in the middle of the room.  LeBron and the Cavs are about to go down for the count.  Twenty empty minutes later we say farewell, knowing that this will be the last time.  Oh no!  Simultaneously I am filled with sadness and gratitude that my journey has been different from his.


I walk two miles to a house that I know my daughter lives in.  I have been a deadbeat father to her since before the day she was born.  The lights are on.  I knock four times on the wooden door.  No one comes to open it.  Can’t get no connect.  Can’t get through.  Where are you?


Funny how your life becomes so much better after you put the plug in the jug.  Lay down the stem.  Through my research and writing, I have been able to give the Mansons back the grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather that they never knew.  Somehow we are all connected.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015 – My little niece, who is now a full-grown woman with a master’s degree, picks me up at my hotel.  We meet my brother-in-law for lunch.  It’s nice to be with family, even if it is only for a couple of hours.


Finally, the time we have all been waiting for has arrived.  It’s Harry’s big moment.  His family is quietly bursting with pride.  The Big M, Serge Savard, Craig Forrest, Lui Passaglia, Michelle Cameron and so many other Canadian sports heroes are in the room.  Images of Harry Manson, Wayne Gretzky and other honourable members flash up on the large screens throughout the room.


After several introductory speeches, the “adopted one” finds himself up on stage with his new family, singing and trying to strike the whale-rattle in tune to the two songs with which we open the proceedings.  One by one each of the new inductees are calling up.  Gary represents our hero.  I give him a bear hug as he returns to our table, and he whispers a soft thank you into my ear.  When Harry’s plaques are passed to me, my eyes fill with tears of joy.  I am unable to read the inscriptions.


To close the ceremony, Mia and Summer Manson, Harry’s great-great-granddaughters, are called up to the stage.  They proudly unveil the plaques of all of the evening’s inductees.  Back at the table, Gary gives me $250, and tells me that his family wants to pay for my ticket to the induction ceremony.  Speechless, I lean over and plant a big wet-one on his cheek.


Thursday morning, June 18, 2015 – We head back to B.C. at 7:00 a.m.  Driving in daylight, we find ourselves sitting most of the way in a silent state of bliss, marvelling at the beauty of the Rockies, knowing that the realities of our lives await just a few hours down the road.  Suddenly the ring of my phone breaks the silence.  I am hurling the truck down a steep, wet  mountain slope.  It’s Martin Dunphy from the Georgia Straight.  We do an interview.  As our interview wraps-up, I can hear another incoming call.  It’s Ross Armour from the Nanaimo Daily News.  Another interview, all the while I keep steering the truck up and down mountain slopes.  I feel like a rock star.  Whoa, easy there young fellow.  Can I still get a ticket after disclosing my driving sins?


We reach Chilliwack and pull off the highway to buy 20 lbs. of blueberries.  Before driving to the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal to return to the Snuneymuxw First Nation, Dean and Lea-lah drop me off at the Richmond Mall Skytrain Station.  Twenty minutes later, I am home.  Sweat dreams are made of these.

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Dear Friends of Harry Manson,

Yes it's about to happen.  Harry Manson is about to hit the British airwaves.  UNREAL!  Thank you so much Sarah, Joel, Ken and I'm sure many others who work behind the BBC scenes both here and back in Britain.  This story is such "good medicine" for all First Nations' people and non-First Nations' people alike.  The following links advertise the Sarah Mulkerrins' feature story on Harry Manson that will air on BBC World Service - Sportshour this coming Saturday, July 4, 2015, at 09:05 GMT (please be sure to adjust the GMT to your local time-zone):


The following is the BBC World Service schedule for July 4, 2015:


In a connected development, I had a three and a half hour meeting with Mr. Roger Barnes, the president of the British Columbia Soccer Association, yesterday afternoon.  We discussed many issues, some of which included the following Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action findings related to the Sports and Reconciliation section on page 10, items 87 thru 91, which Vancouver City Councillor Andrea Reimer so timely brought to my attention:


Mr. Barnes agreed to raise the issue of how to increase First Nation participation in all aspects of provincial soccer with his Board of Directors and his First Nation partners.  Mr. Barnes also proposed working together with the Friends of Harry Manson in organizing a youth competition that would introduce Snuneymuxw youngsters to soccer in a FIFA inspired program.

So much good is starting to happen at this point that I could go on for quite some time.  It's probably better that I don't.

All my relations,


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Just a reminder to everyone that the BBC World Service Sportshour feature on Harry Manson will air at:


09:05 a.m. GMT Saturday morning, July 4, 2015

05:35 a.m. NDT

05:05 a.m. ADT

04:05 a.m. EDT

03:05 a.m. CDT

02:05 a.m. MDT

01:05 a.m. PDT




Canada: The Women's World Cup and Beyond

The story of Harry Manson is not just about the pioneering career of Canada’s first aboriginal football player to be inducted into the National Hall of Fame. It is not just about how his life was tragically cut short. The story of Harry Manson is also a microcosm of what life was like for Canada’s indigenous population in the late 19th Century and for subsequent generations. We tell Harry’s story through the words of his grandson Gary. Gary was a product of the residential school system that the government set up and which was described by Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report of June 2015, as a “cultural genocide” perpetrated on the indigenous population. We hear about Gary’s experience and how the recent discovery of his grandfather’s footballing exploits is giving his family and wider community a huge sense of pride and integral part of a nations healing process. We also hear about Harry’s footballing legacy as we spend time with the women’s football team who are preparing to take part in the inaugural World Indigenous games in Brazil later this year.


Martin Dunphy, of the Georgia Straight, quickest out of the gate as always, has already posted the following announcement of this broadcast on the Straight's website.  Thank you Martin:





The Harry Manson story is about to gain international recognition.

The BBC World Service will air a radio documentary about the pioneering B.C. First Nations soccer player early Saturday (July 4) at 1:05 a.m. PST (4:05 a.m. EST, 9:05 a.m. GMT; go here for further details about podcast).

The 55-minute program, Sportshour, will feature several stories about Canadian heroes in advance of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2015 final taking place in Vancouver on Sunday (July 5).

Manson, known as Xul-si-malt (One who leaves his mark), was born on the Nanaimo Indian Reserve in 1879. He became captain of the all-Native Nanaimo Indian Wanderers team (which won the city championship in 1904 and also made it to the provincial semifinals) and was one of the first indigenous players to play in, and win, a provincial soccer championship, in 1903.

Manson also played for all three senior Nanaimo teams, the only aboriginal player to have done so.

He died in 1912 at age 32 in a coal-train accident in a Nanaimo railyard.

Xul-si-malt broke colour barriers at a time when Native players were jeered and threatened by spectators on Vancouver Island. Due largely to the persistent efforts of Vancouver resident Robert Janning, Manson has been inducted into the Nanaimo Sports Hall of Fame, the national Soccer Hall of Fame in Ontario, and, most recently (June 17), Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in Calgary.

The B.C. Sports Hall of Fame has passed on inducting Manson two years in a row. He has one remaining year of eligibility.

Janning earlier told the Straight of the BBC documentary: "He's going global; it's just amazing." Janning came across Manson's story while researching his 2012 book about the early days of soccer in B.C., Westcoast Reign: The British Columbia Soccer Championships 1892-1905.

Edited by Robert

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More about Harry in today's issue of the Nanaimo Daily News:




'Xulsimalt' broke racial barriers playing soccer

Julie Chadwick / Daily News
July 6, 2015 12:00 AM


The story of Harry Manson is gaining new traction as international media have begun to pick up on the epic tale of the Snuneymuxw soccer star.

On Saturday, BBC World Service Sportshour aired a piece on Manson, who broke barriers in the late 1800s and early 1900s as a First Nations soccer captain.

He rose to fame as the captain of the indigenous Nanaimo Wanderers soccer team, a dominant club that posted numerous wins from 1897-1904, including a city championship.

This new international attention comes on the heels of Manson's recent induction into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame on June 17 at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary.

It's been a long road to recognition for the sports star, who was run over by a train in 1912 while on a trip into town to get medicine for his infant son, and whose history was unknown even to his descendants until recently.

Much of his newfound fame can be traced to the tireless efforts of Vancouver-based soccer historian Robert Janning, who stumbled across Manson's story while researching the history of soccer in B.C. Already a soccer fan when he moved to Canada from Europe in the late 1960s, he decided to research the local history of the sport and was mystified when he found no information in the Vancouver public library.

"I realized if I wanted answers to the questions I had, it would be up to me to launch an investigation," said Janning.

A self-described recovering alcoholic and drug addict in Vancouver's Downtown East Side who was working as a cab driver, Janning found new purpose in his quest and began to research obsessively, piecing the story together painstakingly through what he could find in the library's microfiche.

"I feel this story was laid in my path for a reason," said Janning. "It filled that void that was created when I stopped using. I bottomed out on a crack pipe. I started with beer and moved to hard liquor and pot. I hit my bottom when I felt my sanity was slipping and recognized that if I was going to carry on the way I was I probably didn't have a lot of time left."

Janning enrolled in a creative writing class and the result of his six years of research was the book Westcoast Reign: The British Columbia Soccer Championships 1892-1905.

Throughout his search, in which he realized Nanaimo had been the central hub of soccer in B.C. during this era, he noticed a name that kept surfacing - that of Harry Manson, also known as Xul-si-malt.

Uncertain of how to proceed, Janning got a nudge when his mother, hoping her son would move to where she was located on Vancouver Island, send him a job posting from a local Snuneymuxw wellness centre.

"The contact person's name was was listed as Emmy Manson, and I thought 'What are the chances of her being related to Harry Manson?'" said Janning.

"So I gave her a phone call and told her what I was up to, and she was the great-granddaughter of Harry."

Janning ended up in the living room of Harry's grandson Gary Manson at the Nanaimo reserve with about 20 of Harry's descendants. "They didn't know anything about his soccer exploits. All they had was a coroner's inquest into his death. But what had happened was that one day Harry Manson's infant son Adam had gotten sick and Gary had gone into Nanaimo to fetch some medicine for the child and on the way back he tried to jump a moving coal train and mis-timed his approach," said Janning. Harry, who was only 32, was crushed under the wheels of the moving train. "So the family didn't know anything about Harry because his son was only six months old, and that has flowered into more than 50 descendants. .. so all they had was this coroner's inquest where Harry was portrayed as a 'drunken Indian' and referred to as 'It.' So it was very painful for them. This was the only identification they had to their ancestor until I happened to knock on the door with a picture of him as a provincial soccer star."

This summer Janning traveled with the family to Calgary for the Hall of Fame induction, a road trip he describes as an emotional experience.

At the time, Harry's 62-year-old grandson Dean told the Daily News it was a proud moment.

"This is his third one and to see his picture up there with all the other athletes was so overwhelming. It took 100 years but he's finally there and it's such an awesome feeling for all of the family - bigger than awesome. He just loved to play soccer."

Bolstered by their success in having Harry recognized for his contributions to Canadian soccer history, Janning is now at work on the second volume of his book, which picks up the history from 1905 onward.

So far it appears the role of Snuneymuxw soccer teams and players was in fact pivotal to the game and played a role in reviving the sport after it languished in Nanaimo for several years in the early 1900s.

"All I'm trying to do - and I think the time is right with the Truth and Reconciliation process, is trying to connect people," said Janning. "I believe we all need heroes in life."

Julie.Chadwick@nanaimodailynews.com 250-729-4238

© Nanaimo Daily News
Edited by Robert

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"The Current" (CBC radio one) re-broadcast the Harry Manson story "Lost and Found" for the sixth time this morning.  This feature will be rebroadcast at 8 p.m. tonight on "The Current Review" and once more in the wee hours of the morning at 3 a.m.





Harry Xulsimalt Manson was a pioneering soccer star more than a hundred years ago. He was also a member of the Snuneymuxw First Nation near Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.  

Last year he became the first aboriginal player to be recognized in the National Soccer Hall of Fame. Subjected to racism and later obscurity, Harry Manson's story was unearthed and championed by an unlikely researcher.

Robert Janning's interest not only brought Manson's legacy to light - but it spawned a surprising friendship.

CBC's Jean Paetkau spoke with Robert Janning and to Harry Manson's grandson, Gary Manson. Her documentary "Lost and Found" first aired in November of last year.

Thanks to the CBC's Keith Vass who voiced the archival newspaper articles.  

Since November of last year, Harry Manson was also inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, on June 17th.  And on September 9th, the Vancouver Whitecaps will recognize Harry Manson as an honourary Whitecap.  It will present his grandson, Gary Manson, with a Whitecaps FC jersey with his name and number on it. 

Edited by Robert

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I was just reading the Best of Vancouver issue of The Georgia Straight this morning, while doing my laundry.  Well, lo and behold, imagine my surprise when I turned to page 50 and saw the article on The Harry Manson Legacy soccer tournament.  Just think, we haven't even kicked a ball yet, and already we have been proclaimed as the Best Soccer Tournament in Vancouver.  Quite an accomplishment considering our fair City hosted the Women's World Cup this past summer, eh?  Move over Sepp.  There's a new top-dog in town.  Okay.  Okay.  Temporary illusions of grandeur, I know.  Just let me bask in the glow while it lasts.



Best use of soccer as a force of niceness

The Harry Manson Legacy soccer tournament, on October 17, takes place at the John Braithwaite Recreation Centre in North Vancouver. The inaugural five-a-side, coed, one-day tournament is intended to “bring First Nation and non-First Nation communities together through soccer”, according to founder Robert Janning. Harry Manson was an aboriginal soccer player on Vancouver Island near the turn of the past century, and one team entered has members from the Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish, and Musqueam First Nations. Two other teams have competed in the Vancouver Street Soccer League and the Homeless World Cup.

Edited by Robert

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More of - "With a little help from my friends"



Aboriginal soccer hero honoured in new memorial tournament

Inaugural Harry Manson Legacy tourney connects aboriginal, non-aboriginal and homeless soccer players

By Duncan McCue, CBC News Posted: Oct 03, 2015 11:00 AM ET Last Updated: Oct 03, 2015 11:00 AM ET

The Native Education College soccer team, newly formed to play in the Harry Manson Legacy tournament, is keen to participate in a tourney that pays tribute to a First Nation soccer star.

The Native Education College soccer team, newly formed to play in the Harry Manson Legacy tournament, is keen to participate in a tourney that pays tribute to a First Nation soccer star. (Clair Askew)




Photo of Duncan McCue

Duncan McCue
CBC reporter

Duncan McCue has been a reporter for CBC News for over 15 years. His news and current affairs pieces are featured on CBC's The National. McCue was awarded a Knight Fellowship at Stanford University in 2011, where he created an online guide for journalists called Reporting in Indigenous Communities. Duncan is Anishinaabe, a member of the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation in southern Ontario.

External Links

(Note: CBC does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of external links.)

More than a century after he passed away and his role as a soccer trailblazer was seemingly lost to history, Xul-si-malt is having one helluva year.

Better known as Harry Manson, Xul-si-malt was the only player of aboriginal descent to play on the three Nanaimo premier soccer teams from 1897 to 1905 — but his accomplishments were largely forgotten after his tragic death in 1912.

That changed last November, when he was recognized as a "pioneer" by Canada's Soccer Hall of Fame, an honour which has led to one posthumous accolade after another.

Harry Manson

Harry Manson (Xul-si-malt) has been inducted into Canada’s Soccer Hall of Fame, Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, and Nanaimo Museum Sports Hall of Fame. (BC Archives)

Now, Vancouver soccer teams are readying to breathe life anew into Manson's achievements, by competing in the first-ever Harry Manson Legacy Soccer Tournament.

One of the key aspects of the tournament is that it's open to aboriginal and non-aboriginal players, men and women.

"Everyone can play. No one is excluded. I truly believe those were Harry's values," says Robert Janning, the tournament organizer.

"Over one hundred years after his passing, Harry's story and his outlook on life can still give so much to the world today."

Overcoming racism 

The Harry Manson Legacy Tournament includes four teams, from Vancouver-area First Nation communities and urban aboriginal students, to players from the Salvation Army and Portland Hotel Society who are homeless or recently homeless.

'The racial diversity that exists in the city of Vancouver does not exist on the soccer fields.'

- Andrea Reimer, Vancouver's Deputy Mayor

Vancouver's Deputy Mayor Andrea Reimer helped organize a team for the tournament that unites the City of Vancouver, Musqueam First Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation, and Squamish Nation, in hopes of overcoming barriers.

"The racial diversity that exists in the City of Vancouver does not exist on the soccer fields," says Reimer, who has been an active soccer player since the age of five. She recalls playing in her youth against "tough and terrific" female First Nations soccer players who she feels could have become elite players.

"Had there been an active program to support [aboriginal girls], they could have brought women's soccer to a higher level faster, but that support wasn't there."

In Harry Manson's days, racism was almost palpable. He was one of the first aboriginal players to win a B.C. provincial soccer championship, and guided a Snuneymuxw First Nation team to an unprecedented city championship.

Local newspapers reported incidents of jeering white fans shouting "Kill the savages!" when Manson and other Snuneymuxw players took to the pitch.

After his accidental death at the age of 32 – he was run over by a train while hitching into town to get medicine for his child – the coroner's report referred to Manson as a "drunken Indian."

Robert Janning, Harry Manson descendants

Robert Janning (blue shirt) stands with descendants of Harry Manson at induction of Xul-si-malt into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. (Becky Wesley)

Janning, a part-time taxi driver, played a pivotal role raising attention for Manson's accomplishments after unearthing his story while researching soccer's history in B.C.

He was struck by archival news reports which not only illustrated Manson's skill but also his determination to break colour barriers in a sport then dominated by white people.

"The racism he was surrounded by, he didn't care: 'I don't care if you're white, if you're red, I just want to play soccer.' I think that sends such a positive message in today's world where there's a lot of hidden segregation," says Janning.

Inspiring new generation

The Native Education College (NEC) in Vancouver is entering a squad, keen to participate in a tourney that pays tribute to a First Nation soccer star.

"There are so many phenomenal First Nation athletes in the communities, and often they don't receive the same kind of recognition that athletes in the mainstream Canadian sport system receive," says Claire Askew, sport and fitness coordinator at NEC.

"It's been really inspirational for our players to learn more about the legacy of Harry Manson."

NEC has never fielded a soccer team, because of lack of funds. But the Manson tournament is free, and a local community centre donated gym time for the team to practice. The newly-created NEC Nighthawks are co-ed, with players from 20 to 60 years old, hailing from many cultural backgrounds.

Nighthawks coach Terry Point of the Musqueam First Nation hopes Manson's legacy encourages young aboriginal athletes to dream big.

"One of the hardest things for First Nations kids is having that will to leave home, and do the training necessary to become a pro athlete. The more we recognize people that have succeeded in that goal, all the better," says Point.

'Soccer has a special way of bringing people together.'

- Robert Janning, tournament organizer

Janning is volunteering his time as tournament organizer, and the modest tournament costs are covered by donations to the Friends of Harry Manson website.

The indoor, five-aside competition will be held in North Vancouver on Oct. 17, followed by a feast. Janning hopes the tournament will become an annual event.

"This is a special opportunity that facilitates aboriginal and non-aboriginal communities getting to know one another," says Janning.

"Soccer has a special way of bringing people together."

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One day to go and Martin Dunphy of the Georgia Straight has the following to say about The Harry Manson Legacy:


North Shore soccer tourney to honour First Nations pioneer


by Martin Dunphy on October 16th, 2015 at 4:13 PM


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  • First Nations soccer pioneer Harry Manson's legacy will be honoured with an inaugural tournament on Saturday (October 17).

An inaugural soccer tournament to be held tomorrow (Saturday, October 17) will commemorate the legacy of a First Nations pioneer in the sport.


The Harry Manson Legacy tournament, which will get underway at the John Braithwaite Community Centre in North Vancouver at 1 p.m., will feature four coed teams playing five per side in abbreviated 24-minute games.

Two teams from the Street Soccer League will take part (one affiliated with the North Shore Salvation Army and another with the Downtown Eastside's Portland Hotel Society), as well as a unit from the Native Education College. A team organized through the auspices of the City of Vancouver, possibly containing two great-grandchildren of Harry Manson's, is also scheduled to compete.


The intent of the competition, as stated by founding organization Friends of Harry Manson and cofounder Robert Janning in a release, is to "redress the legacy of colonialism in British Columbia" and "to honour the outstanding First Nations sportsman" Harry Manson.

"We hope this tournament will contribute to breaking down the last remaining barriers that continue, in very subtle ways, to segregate the First Nations of British Columbia from the wider provincial soccer community," the release stated.

Manson, a member of the Snuneymuxw First Nation in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island at the turn of the past century, was the captain of the indigenous Nanaimo Indian Wanderers soccer team from 1897 to 1908. He was also the only player, regardless of race, to play for the Wanderers and both the Nanaimo Thistles and Nanaimo United during those years.

soccer_manson-1903-br-2r.jpg?itok=O-VbfO Harry Manson, second from right, bottom row, 1903 photo.

During the time period that Manson played, open discrimination and racism against aboriginal people was common in B.C. Despite reported calls to "Kill the savages" yelled out during matches between his First Nations team and those comprised of players of European descent, Manson was widely recognized for his skill on the soccer pitch.

Largely through the efforts of B.C. soccer researcher Janning—who has written a history of provincial soccer, Westcoast Reign: The British Columbia Soccer Championships 1892-1905—Manson became inducted into three separate sports halls of fame in Canada within seven months in 2014 and 2015: the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame, the Nanaimo Sports Hall of Fame, and Canada's Sports Hall of Fame.

The B.C. Sports Hall of Fame has not inducted Manson despite two applications.

Teams in the Harry Manson Legacy tournament will be competing for the historic Grand Challenge Cup of the Nanaimo Football Association, a trophy originally commissioned in 1891, which makes it one year older than the revered Stanley Cup. Manson won the cup as a member of Nanaimo United in 1903; he was one of three indigenous players on that team, and they were the first to win a provincial championship.

"And everybody gets a medal," Janning told the Straight by phone of the tournament's participants.

"I think that the example Harry Manson setr during that period of racism...was that he kind of ignored all that. He just went out and played soccer. He didn't care if he was playing with white people or indigenous people."

Manson, whose Snuneymuxw name was Xul-si-malt (meaning "One who leaves his mark"), died in a trainyard accident in Nanaimo in 1912, age 32, while in town to get medicine for his sick child.

All are welcome to attend and watch the tournament on Saturday. The final game is scheduled for 3:45 p.m., with the awards presentation taking place immediately afterward.

The John Braithwaite Community Centre is located at 145 West 1st Street, North Vancouver. Edited by Robert

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Dear Friends, 


   Following a four-month delay, the inaugural Harry Manson Legacy soccer tournament finally came off on Saturday, October 17th, at the John Braithwaite Community Centre, in North Vancouver. Originally, the tournament was scheduled to take place on June 20th, at Caledonia Park, in Nanaimo, however, when the Friends of Harry Manson learned that Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame intended to induct Harry Manson on June 17th, in Calgary, Alberta, we decided to postpone the tournament. 


   In hindsight, the deferment proved to be the right decision. The rescheduled tournament turned out to be an absolute success. On behalf of the Friends of Harry Manson, I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all the players, coaches, managers and referee for making the inaugural Harry Manson Legacy a truly wonderful experience. 


   I would also like to express our gratitude to North Vancouver Mayor Darrell Mussatto, who was on hand to personally welcome everyone, as was Vancouver Deputy Mayor Andrea Reimer, who despite suffering from the flu, still managed to show up and support the players. Before leaving, she made a very generous donation towards having the Grand Challenge Cup of the Nanaimo Football Association restored.  This trophy, the original British Columbia FA Cup, was commissioned in 1891, thus making it one year older than the Stanley Cup. 


   The exceptional promotion provided by Duncan McCue of CBC, and Martin Dunphy of The Georgia Straight was nothing short of incredible. Their continuing support of all projects related to Harry Manson has been instrumental in the success achieved thus far.  I shall be forever grateful for them being who they are. We also tip our collective hats to Sam Ferris of CKNW for her live phone-interview while the tournament was in progress, and to The North Shore News for sending over a photographer. 


   We were also blessed with an amazing team of volunteers. Without their participation, the Harry Manson Legacy would not have been possible. Charles Macgregor, manager of the Salvation Army North Shore Shields, made the arrangements that allowed us the free use of the John Braithwaite Gym and Shoreline Room. He also shared his many years of expertise in organizing similar tournaments. Following the medal presentation, we were all treated to a delicious lasagne dinner, which had been prepared by Donna, Parveen and Penny. Finally, Daphne Ling and Nash Dallah wore many different hats; player, coach, minder and nurse to name but a few. All were there for me, offering ideas and support when things began to look overwhelming. Many, many thanks. 


   All of the matches were hotly contested from start to finish. Victories were celebrated with sportsmanlike respect, while losses were absorbed with grace and dignity.  A most refreshing feature was the fact that no one criticized any of Referee Seyed-Mohammad Mohseni’s decisions. The spirit of Harry Manson prevailed throughout the competition, and I applaud every player for honouring and embracing his unprejudiced and positive outlook on life. 


   We congratulate the Salish United team on winning the inaugural Harry Manson Legacy and capturing the Grand Challenge Cup, and salute the NEC Nighthawks, the PHS Portland FC and the North Shore Shields for providing the opposition. It seems almost predestined that two of Harry Manson’s great-grandsons featured so prominently in the championship match, with Jerome accounting for two of the goals and his younger brother, Adam tallying a third. However, there are two other memories that I will cherish for a long time. The first occurred in the opening match of the tournament, between the North Shore Shields and the NEC Nighthawks. After a 90-year period of inactivity, Rose scored the first goal in Grand Challenge Cup of the Nanaimo Football Association competition for the Shields. The other moment happened in the final match, when Annie, the goalie for the Shields, took a blistering drive to the stomach. Winded by the impact of the ball, she lay motionless on the floor for all of two or three second before getting back up, ready for action. 


   The Harry Manson Legacy marks the first time I have ever undertaken an endeavour like this. I found it to be an extremely rewarding experience, and have learned so much about myself, and about how to work together with people who share a common visionEveryone involved in this project understands the potential good that can come from bringing First Nation and non-First Nation people together in a social contextThrough honouring the spirit of Harry Manson and the values he chose to live his life by, we have a perfect opportunity to achieve this goal. 


   Throughout my research, writing, readings, interviews, soliciting letters of support, submitting nominations, attending induction ceremonies, and now organizing a soccer tournament, one fact has become crystal clear to me. It is that there are many people in Canada, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, who have a genuine interest and desire to interact with each other in a social setting. The Harry Manson Legacy provides us with an opportunity to do so. If we are truly serious about allowing the healing process to kick in and to move forward, then the time has come to forgive. I encourage all of you to be “Idle No More.” Tell your friends about your Harry Manson Legacy experience. Encourage them to join your team, or form one of their own. We need you to get the word out. 


Until next year, all my relations, 


Robert Janning

Edited by Robert

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4 hours ago, Blue and White Army said:

B.C. Sports Hall of Fame finally inducts Xul-si-malt.


Well done, Robert!

Thanks Blue and White Army.  You beat me to the punch.  Damn meetings afterwards!

Great day Friends of Harry Manson,

Just returned from the BC Sports Hall of Fame media conference, where it was announced that Harry Manson is a member of the 2016 class of inductees.  The Snuneymuxw soccer player has therefore completed the "Grand Slam"  of sports hall of fame inductions.  These are as follows:

The Soccer Hall of Fame, in Vaughan, Ontario
Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, in Calgary, Alberta
Nanaimo Sports Hall of Fame, in Nanaimo, British Columbia
BC Sports Hall of Fame, in Vancouver, British Columbia

The induction ceremony will be held at the the Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, on Thursday, June 9, 2016, reception at 5:00 pm



Early reports:


Edited by Robert

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Two more links to the 2016 BC Sports Hall of Fame inductee announcements::



Indigenous soccer pioneer finally inducted into B.C. Sports Hall of Fame

Harry Manson broke colour barriers more than a century ago, honoured alongside Steve Nash, Carl Valentine

by Martin Dunphy on December 10th, 2015 at 5:28 PM


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  • Harry Manson, or Xul-si-malt, is seated in the bottom row, second from right, in this 1903 photo.

More than a century after his death, a trailblazing aboriginal B.C. soccer player has finally been recognized in his own province.

The B.C. Sports Hall of Fame announced at a news conference today that Harry Manson will be inducted in the pioneer category at its 50th anniversary banquet next June.

The induction comes after two previous rejections, in 2013 and 2014, from the hall, which has been headquartered at Vancouver’s B.C. Place Stadium since 1993.


Manson, a member of the Snuneymuxw First Nation near Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island, had previously been inducted into the Nanaimo Sports Hall of Fame, the national Soccer Hall of Fame in Vaughan, Ontario, and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in Calgary.

native_soccer_manson_1.jpg?itok=x3aVH0cd One of the few photos of Harry Manson known to exist.

Steve Nash, Carl Valentine among other inductees

Other 2016 B.C. inductees announced at the Thursday (December 10) news conference included, in the athlete category, NBA player Steve Nash, golfer Dave Barr, CFL kicker Dave Cutler, Whitecaps player Carl Valentine, and women’s national soccer team member Geri Donnelly.

In the builder/coach division, B.C. Lions coach Wally Buono, women’s national basketball head coach Allison McNeill, and track-and-field athlete, manager, and coach Diane Clement were awarded places in the hall.

The Western Hockey League’s 1994-1995 Kamloops Blazers—which included future NHL players Jarome Iginla, Shane Doan, Nolan Baumgartner, Darcy Tucker, Brad Lukowich, Jason Strudwick, and Tyson Nash, among others—won inclusion in the team category. Sportswriter Wendy Long nabbed a berth in the hall’s media division, and former Vancouver Canucks and Vancouver Grizzlies owner Arthur Griffiths will take home the W.A.C. Bennett Award.

Pioneer's descendents at hall of fame event

Almost a dozen of Manson’s descendents attended the conference, including two of his grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and several great-great-grandchildren.

img_2837.jpg?itok=IU1Gi8VN Harry Manson's great-great-granddaughter Mia and great-grandson Adam at the national Soccer Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Vaughan, Ontario, in 2014.

Manson helped break colour barrier

Manson, also known as Xul-si-malt (meaning “one who leaves his mark”), helped breach colour barriers in the earliest days of soccer in B.C. He was born on the Nanaimo Indian Reserve in 1879 and became a skilled player and captain of the all-Native Nanaimo Wanderers team, which made it to the provincial semifinals and later, in 1904, won the city championship.

He also became one of the first indigenous players to play in and win a provincial soccer championship, and he was the only aboriginal player to be a member of all three senior Nanaimo teams. Racial discrimination and taunts were common at the time, and a local newspaper reported that at one game between the Wanderers and an all-white team, a cry of “Kill the savages” was heard as his team took the field.

Manson died in 1912, age 32, after being struck by a coal train in Nanaimo while in town to get medicine for a sick child. The coroner’s report referred to him as a “drunken Indian”.

gary_manson_by_meade.jpg?itok=V1HygrnT Harry Manson grandchild Gary Manson accepted his grandfather's B.C. Hall of Fame induction scarf on December 10, six months in advance of the formal ceremony next year. Meade Manson


Grandson Gary Manson, who attended with his brother Dean, told the Georgia Straight at the event that his grandfather’s upcoming induction was “very, very exciting”. “I wish he was honoured while he was here, of course, but I’m just so grateful,” he said.

Harry Manson’s inductions into the four halls of fame are largely seen as the result of years of research and effort on the part of Vancouver resident Robert Janning, who discovered the pioneering player’s story while researching a book on early B.C. soccer history, Westcoast Reign: The British Columbia Soccer Championships 1892–1905.

fullsizerender.jpg?itok=qZUCcoq0 Robert Janning (right) stands with (from left) Nanaimo mayor Bill McKay, Harry Manson grandson Gary Manson, and Snuneymuxw chief John Wesley at the 2015 Canada Sports Hall of Fame ceremony in Calgary. Mia Manson

 Janning contacted Manson’s descendents, who knew little of his accomplishments, and he recruited influential local backers in a dogged and lengthy campaign to raise awareness of the player’s significance in the years before anyone had heard of Jackie Robinson and Jesse Owens, who broke colour barriers in baseball and track and field, respectively, in the 1930s and 1940s.

“It was very exciting when Robert made that first phone call,” Gary Manson told the Straight of Janning’s initial communication with him. “It just changed my life, and it’s going to change the lives of a lot of First Nations people across this country.”

“I’m very proud,” Janning told the Straight after the announcement. “I could feel a tear well up in my eyes. It’s just a very proud moment.”

Of the B.C. hall’s belated recognition of Manson, Janning said: “This part of the journey is complete. I submitted four nominations, and they’ve all been successful.” He agreed with another attendee’s remark that he had accomplished a “grand slam” with the four inductions.

Earlier this year, Janning organized an inaugural Harry Manson Legacy soccer tournament, an event that he hopes will become an annual tradition.

Bad weather earlier in the day disrupted some attendees plans, Janning noted, but Harry Manson’s family members still made it in time. “They all took the ferry this morning; there was a lot of excitement.”

Gary Manson said he plans to attend the June 9, 2016, B.C. Sports Hall of Fame official induction banquet with “about 40 or 50 people”.

For an account of Robert Janning’s years-long effort to bring Harry Manson’s accomplishments to light, go here.

For further information on Janning’s nonprofit Friends of Harry Manson group, go here.


Edited by Robert

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I just received an email from Andrea Blendl, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications and Community Relations, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, informing me that the Whitecaps intend to recognize Harry Manson at some point during the Amway Canadian Championship match at BC Place, Wednesday, June 8th.  The club has also gifted a suite for 22 people to the Manson family for the occasion.

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