DECEMBER 31, 1953


From Aklavik, Northwest Territories (NWT), the sisters began skiing through the Territorial Experimental Ski Training Program. Starting with the 1968 Canadian Junior Cross-Country Championships, the twins “owned” Canadian cross-country skiing from 1968-1986 and winning 79 national championship medals: Shirley, 42 (29 gold); Sharon, 37 (19 gold). They were in several World Championships and 4 Winter Olympic Games (1972-1984). After skiing, Sharon was a Youth Program Advisor in Yellowknife, NWT. Shirley moved to Paris and lectured on the Dene and Inuit cultures. In 2005, Shirley returned to the NWT and was legislative assistant in the NWT Assembly. She died April 30, 2013, in Yellowknife. Awards:  Canadian Ski Assn. (1972); NWT Commissioner (1981); National Aboriginal Achievement—2005 & 2006).  Medals:  Golden Jubilee (2002); Diamond Jubilee (2012). Halls of Fame:  Canadian Ski Museum, NWT Sport & Canada Sports (1990, 2012, 2015).  Members, Order of Canada (1987).

Source:  Tabitha Marshall, “Shirley and Sharon Firth,” The Canadian Encyclopedia, 9/24/2013.  Retrieved 7/23/2019,
Photo:  Padraic Ryan, 11/11/2007.  Aboriginal War Veterans Monument, Ottawa, Canada.  Permissive Use.  

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