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030925 - Forever Young - Masters of the mat
Moose Morowski, Scotty Thompson and Billy Two Rivers were part of a bygone era of wrestling in which a significant number of Canadians travelled the world acting out the age-old struggle between good and evil.
But old-time stars like Moose Morowski, Billy Two Rivers
and Frank "Scotty" Thompson know better.
...Billy Two Rivers
, 68, was one of Canada's most famous matsmen.He
left the Kahnawake reserve near Montreal to travel and stayed in the wrestling game for 24 years.His
awareness of the world around him served him well later in life, as a 20-year elected politician with the Kahnawake council
, and then a senior policy and political advisor to the Assembly of First Nations
.During the controversial blockade of Montreal's Mercier Bridge in 1990 - the Oka crisis - Two Rivers
"handled the media," a job he
compared to wrestling a 280-pound bruiser. Two Rivers
traded on his
Mohawk background in the ring, wearing a full-feathered headdress atop a Mohawk haircut.He
went into a war dance when he
debut in 1953 in Detroit, Mich. and was a superstar in England.
"I was more or less a journeyman.I travelled and was more of an attraction.People came to see the Indian," Two Rivers recalls.
Now an elder, passing on the history and heritage of the Mohawk people to youngsters, Two Rivers
was able to parlay a sense of theatrics honed in the ring to an acting career.He
has seven full-length movies to his
credit, including Black Robe.
The Eastern Door - Octber 1, 2004
Billy Two Rivers in his traditional wrestling garb, 1950s vintage.
...Pro wrestling legend Billy Two Rivers of Kahnawake was one of the guests of distinction at the Wintergreen Sports Gala for Aboriginal Youth at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa this past Wednesday.
The evening was designed to recognize the efforts of First Nation, Inuit and Metis youth who are striving to reach their dreams through sports.The event also celebrated the lives of accomplished Aboroginal athletes who may now be Elders, or those who are active in leadership roles working with Aboriginal
people today.Two Rivers fits that description to a 'T'."Billy has a high national profile," explained Wintergreen president Marsha Smoke, "not only for his wrestling career but also in his political life.
told The Eastern Door
, with tongue in cheek, that if he
was among those honoured last Wednesday, "it's only because it was all cleared through my Indian agent, Keith Myiow!"