A man denied the honour of lighting the Centennial Torch in 1967 got to do so 50 years later.

Yesterday, at Memorial Boulevard, the Centennial Torch was lit for the Canada Summer Games.

The last time it was lit was the 1967 Pan Am Games. For those games, ten Indigenous runners brought a flame 800 kilometres, from Minnesota to Winnipeg, but had to hand it off to a non-Indigenous person for the final lap inside the stadium (and for the final torch-lighting).

Dave Courchene was one of those runners. And yesterday, he finally got to experience that final stage of actually lighting the torch.

"For me, personally, you know, it was almost like bringing a completion to my own journey when I carried the flame in '67."

drum chvn

Courchene, an elder from Sagkeeng First Nation, and the founder of Turtle Lodge, says in 1967 he didn't fully understand what was really happening when he wasn't allowed to carry the flame right up to the torch.

"You know, when I look back, I was so overwhelmed by the experience of being the one that was carrying the flame, I never realized what was really going on until later on -- that it really reflected the marginalization that was the environment of our people -- that we were never really considered to be a people that could make a full contribution."

Courchene says what happened yesterday was "a reflection of a full contribution of respect" from the Canada Summer Games.

After the torch lighting, Courchene led a ceremony inside the Legislature that included songs and spiritual teachings.

The games are officially co-hosted by First Nations Treaty No. 1, No. 3, and the Manitoba Metis Federation.

The Canada Summer Games run July 28 to August 13.