TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 26, 2016) - Department of Canadian Heritage
The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, was at the York Lions Stadium in Toronto today to announce up to $3.5 million from the Government of Canada, through Sport Canada's Hosting Program, for the Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG). This funding reinforces the Government's support for Canada's Indigenous athletes and the role they play in inspiring their community members to enjoy the benefits of regular physical activity.
The NAIG are an international multisport event for Indigenous youth aged 13 to 19. They instill important values such as volunteerism and teamwork in First Nations, Métis, Inuit and non-Indigenous communities. The Games were founded on the principles of promoting healthy lifestyles, building self-image and connecting Canadian communities through sport and culture.
Over 5,000 athletes and 2,000 volunteers will take part in the Toronto 2017 NAIG, which will take place from July 16 to 23.
Participating teams come from all 13 provinces and territories, as well as 13 regions in the United States
For the last two editions of the Games in Canada (Cowichan 2008 and Regina 2014), the Government of Canada contributed a total of $7,000,000 in direct funding to the respective host organizations and over $1,700,000 to support transportation of participating provincial and territorial teams.
The Government of Canada's support for the NAIG addresses one of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's Calls to Action, which recognized the Games as an important vehicle to promote Indigenous sport development and recreation in Canada.
"I'm so pleased to see the 2017 NAIG coming to Toronto next year, as we know this event will have a significant and long-lasting impact on Canada's Indigenous athletes, coaches, officials and sport leaders while building bridges with non-Indigenous Canadians who share the same love of sport. We acknowledge the Call to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, which highlights the NAIG as a key means of promoting sport development and recreation among Indigenous Canadians. Sport and recreation activities have tremendous benefits both on and beyond the field of play, and we are committed to supporting these Games and other initiatives that contribute to the wellness and quality of life of Indigenous people from coast to coast to coast."
- The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities
"I am delighted to see the support the governments of Canada and Ontario are providing for the 2017 North American Indigenous Games. Sport and culture bring people together and promote physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health-a foundation for strong communities. Hosting this event in Toronto will showcase these Games to audiences throughout North America, supporting the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's call to ensure long-term Aboriginal athlete development and growth, and continued support for the Games, while furthering the vital work of reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada."
- The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs
"Ontario is excited to host the 2017 North American Indigenous Games and welcome young athletes and participants from throughout North America to our province. Ontarians are looking forward to cheering on Aboriginal Team Ontario as they strive for excellence. We're especially pleased that these Games will benefit from the knowledge and outstanding sports facilities that are a lasting legacy of the 2015 Pan Am / Parapan Am Games. This event will be an exceptional experience that's good for our youth, for sport, for our communities and for our economy."
- The Honourable Michael Coteau, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Government of Ontario
"We are extremely proud and appreciative of the investments made into the 2017 NAIG. We would like to sincerely thank the Government of Canada and Government of Ontario for both believing in our vision to encourage and provide opportunities for Aboriginal youth across North America (Turtle Island) to participate in sport and physical activity. We are very much looking forward to welcoming over 5,000 participants to Toronto next year and immersing them in a celebration of Aboriginal culture, teachings and athletic opportunities. We believe that this will provide a lasting legacy for Aboriginal communities across Canada, and specifically in Ontario, by bringing awareness to the importance of sport and physical activity, and the power they have to bring peoples together to collectively create positive change in communities."
- Marc Laliberte, President, Aboriginal Sport and Wellness Council of Ontario