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Charlie Smallface

Boxing Athlete - Inducted 1974

Charlie Smallface won the Provincial Boxing Championships eight times between 1950 and 1959. He won the 70 lb. Alberta Junior Class Title in 1950; the 80 lb. title in 1951; the 90 lb. title in 1952; the 100 lb. title in 1953; and, the 110 lb. title in 1954. Charlie Smallface won the Provincial Boxing Open Championship in the 119 lb. class in 1955; the 132 lb. title in 1956; and the 139 lb. class in 1959.  He was a runner-up for the Dominion Boxing Championship in the 132 lb. open class. Charlie Smallface won the Alberta Golden Gloves four times between 1954 and 1958. He won 49 of his 50 career fights.

After Induction

Forty-nine consecutive victories depicts Charles Ross Smallface’s unparalleled provincial pugilist career during the 1950s. His devotion and lethal precision in the ring guided him to eight consecutive provincial titles and a championship record equal to that of Alberta’s boxing great Hugh Sloan. Cardston’s fistic star was born in 1938 and attended school on the Blood Indian Reserve. Educated as an army cadet, Charlie developed discipline, the accuracy of eye and hand, and a combative attitude that served him well in the ring. At the tender age of 12, he dished out and accepted blows to clinch his first Provincial title in the 70lb Junior class. Competing in the Junior class through 1954, Smallface annually defeated his provincial boxing brethren at 80lb, 90lb, 100lb, and 110lb. In 1955, as an Open Class competitor, Charlie added another provincial championship to his belt, and, for the second consecutive year, captured the Edmonton Optimist’s Golden Gloves title; a title he repeated twice again during his career. The following year, he vied for the Dominion title in Montreal. Smallface knocked down adversaries with rapid rights and lefts, but came up short in the final match of the 132 pound class.


Although Charles Smallface began boxing at an early age, his sporting exploits were not confined to one sport. He actively competed in basketball, softball, and track and field. For four years running, from 1951 to 1954, he earned the Tom Longboat Trophy for top all-around Native athlete in Alberta and the Northwest Territories. In 1954, he was bestowed perhaps his greatest laurel, the Tom Longboat medal as the outstanding all-around Native National athlete. After retiring as a boxer in 1959, Charles continued to reside in the Cardston area. He was revered across the province for his impressive athletic talents and was respected in his social and political community for his service with the Blood Indian Band Agency.