Ontario Welcomes North American Indigenous Games Athletes
Ontario is hosting the 2017 North American Indigenous Games — one of the largest sporting and cultural gatherings of Indigenous people in the world. This is the first time Ontario will host the international event, which showcases the athleticism and cultural heritage of Indigenous youth.
“The North American Indigenous Games is not only about the spirit of sport but embodies everything that is good about life and new experiences. Reflecting on the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual components of our well-being and celebrating the beauty of our gifts and those around us.”— Stephen Kwinter, Executive Director, Aboriginal Sport and Wellness Council of Ontario
The province will welcome over 5,000 athletes from across Canada and the United States for the Games, with competitions taking place from July 17 to July 22. Athletes will compete in 14 different sports across the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA) at some of the state-of-the-art venues built for the 2015 Pan / Parapan American Games. Competitions include:
- Lacrosse from July 17 to July 21 at the Gaylord Powless Arena in Ohsweken, the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena in Hagersville and the Harry Howell Arena in Hamilton
- Soccer from July 17 to July 22 at McMaster University in Hamilton
- 3-D Archery from July 18 to July 20 at the Hamilton Angling and Hunting Association in Ancaster
- Canoe/Kayak from July 18 to July 20 at the Welland International Flat Water Centre in Welland
- Swimming on July 20 and July 21 at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre in Toronto
Admission to all sport competitions is free. A full competition schedule is available online.
To celebrate Indigenous heritage and culture, daily festivals will be held at York University and at McMaster University. These free festivals will include traditional artisans, music, entertainment, cuisine and displays of art.
The Games provide Indigenous athletes, coaches and officials with the opportunity to participate in organized sport, develop their skills and pursue excellence in their sport. The province is providing support for the Games and for Ontario athletes, including recruitment events, training camps, Team Ontario uniforms and travel subsidies for athletes who live in Ontario’s northern communities.
Hosting athletic competitions and investing in the development of amateur athletes is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.
- Ontario’s support for the Games is administered through the Aboriginal Sport and Wellness Council of Ontario, and includes $285,000 to support Team Ontario Indigenous athletes and $3.5 million to successfully deliver the Games.
- Supporting Indigenous youth is one of the many steps on Ontario’s journey of reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. As a part of Journey Together: Ontario’s Commitment to Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, this initiative reflects the government’s commitment to work with Indigenous partners, creating a better future for everyone in the province.
- The Games are expected to attract 10,000 visitors to the GTHA and generate $35 million for the local economy.