First Nations Pride evident with Okotoks Lady Outlawz

As the Okotoks Lady Outlawz look to carve their own legacy in the Western Women’s Canadian Football League, the expansion franchise features many intriguing personalities. Among the players that comprise the roster are two players who are of First Nations Heritage.

Donning number 51, Anita Crowshoe is a registered band member of the Piikani Nation, while Livia Manywounds is from the Tsuu T’ina First Nation outside of Calgary, Alberta. With the number 62 on her jersey, Manywounds is also an active competitor in volleyball and baseball. Both are excited to be part of the Lady Outlawz inaugural campaign.
Manywounds hails from a rodeo background, but her toughness and determination make her a driven competitor. A strong bond of friendship was forged between her and Crowshoe, and it led to the two becoming teammates.

“The motivation to play football came from my friend and teammate Anita Crowshoe. Football was not a part of my family interests, we were more of a rodeo kind of folk. She believed I had potential, so I give her the credit for introducing me to the sport. She gives me non-stop inspiration and I look forward to be playing alongside her.”

Like many of her teammates on the Lady Outlawz, Crowshoe has a son that also plays football. Her ability to wear the helmet and compete on the gridiron has helped bring the two of them closer together (a common trait for many of the mothers competing).

“Now, when I yell at him, it’s positive. It is not nagging. We have always been close as I am a single parent. In order to support him more, I want to feel what it is like to play. Now, I have respect for my son.”

While Crowshoe is eager to emulate her son and succeed on the gridiron, she approaches it with great humility. When asked if she sees herself as a role model to young women of First Nations heritage, she replied, “No, I never ever set out to be a role model. I just do it because I love the game.”

In addition to football, Manywounds is also a First Nation Traditional Dancer. Among her many performances, one that stood out came a few months ago in Nevada.

“The best performance I have done was in the state of Nevada this past March. For two weeks on tour, I performed along with the Red Thunder dance troupe. The show was for a senior’s centre in Reno. I got to express and share my culture. This was in capacity of an older generation that revisited a once before attitude towards First Nations people, and gave them a new outlook with great reviews. That was the best performance!”

Playing alongside Livia Manywounds, Crowshoe already has nicknames. “Before she came aboard, I was known as the ‘Roc’. Now, Livia is called the ‘Mountain.’ However, we are Outlawz and our motto is “OutHit, OutRun, OutPlay – OUTLAWZ!”.

Advocating for football prospects one story at a time.

Leave a Reply