2022 We Are Proud of You Award winner
Nomination written by 2021 We Are Proud of You Award winner Gregg Bamford.
Mike Tanton is one of the biggest contributors to our community of Saskatoon and beyond. Mike’s passion has always been kids and basketball. He’s brought these together over many years of volunteering, educating, inspiring, and connecting with children and families, making relationships that will last a lifetime. A proud member of Métis Nation of Saskatchewan, there’s nothing that Mike won’t do to support someone in need, as demonstrated by his wide range of volunteer activities, the three boards he sits on, and the constant ringing of his cellphone as people reach out to him for inspiration.
There’s no place you can go where you don’t run into someone
who Mike hasn’t impacted, whether a young person he’s currently coaching, to a basketball coach who was inspired by Mike and who now inspires others, to Elders and Indigenous youth and citizens in Saskatoon and throughout our province who admire and connect with Mike’s warmth, passion and love of sport in community.
Uncles, Aunties, Elders, kids, and then kids who’ve grown to adults and who now have kids of their own, all of them come up to say hi to Mike, and he always has time to listen and share his wisdom. Many leaders in Saskatoon reach out to Mike for advice. To me, Mike has always been an example of what I should do in the community, with his openness to sharing, his listening ear, and his ability to distill the real truth. I wouldn’t be doing what I do now if it wasn’t for him: he taught me to stand up for my community to make change, and he’s guided every endeavour I’ve put my heart and mind to. I know many people feel the exact same but all for different reasons.
Mike works hard in his day-to-day job at the mines, and then the moment he leaves, he pours his heart and soul into his community, volunteering more than anyone I’ve ever met, and energising ideas and individuals to get involved. He founded The Players Ball, and Living Skies Indigenous Basketball league, a province wide initiative to get youth playing basketball to overcome adversity. All athletes are welcome to participate: basketball is a vessel for reconciliation and meaningful change in our communities.
My friend, my honorary brother, and a man who I trust wholeheartedly, Mike Tanton deserves the We Are Proud of You Award. I couldn’t recommend him more whole-heartedly, and I know he will be a fine recipient, sharing his achievements with kids and youth throughout our province, to further inspire them to be their best.