North American Indigenous Games wrap up in Regina
Team Sask. take second place in medal count after Team BC
After a week of competition and culture, the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) came to an end in Regina.
The closing ceremonies took place Saturday at 7:30 p.m. (CST) on the lawn at First Nations University of Canada (FNUC) with a performance by rap music group A Tribe Called Red.
The seven day under-19 sport competition ended with Saskatchewan in second place in the medal standings. Team Saskatchewan finished the week with a total of 159 medals. They were second to Team British Columbia, which took home 160 medals.
However, Saskatchewan finished with the most gold medals of any team at a total of 72 and British Columbia followed with 63.
For the final event of the games, Saskatchewan beat BC in men's soccer Saturday afternoon.
About 3,700 young athletes from Canada and the United States competed in the games at various location across Regina this week.
There was a total of 15 sport categories, including archery, golf, kayaking and basketball.
Some athletes participating in NAIG said sports have given them something to work towards and look forward to.
Michael Linklater, Saskatchewan's Men's Basketball Coach, agrees.
"A team is a positive way to be a part of something. People who are missing that in their personal lives can get it from having that team experience and bonding," said Linklater.
Indigenous arts celebrated too
But it wasn't all sports. There was also a number of traditional Indigenous activities to participate in at the Cultural Village at FNUC, including beading workshops and hoop dancing demonstrations.
There were musical performances each night of the week. Some of the performers included Saskatchewan's Local Onlyz and British Columbia's Inez Jasper.
On Thursday night, a storm wreaked havoc at the university's teepee village. However it did not affect any of the games.
As a final thank you to all those who participated, volunteers and athletes are invited to join Actor Adam Beach at FNUC Sunday afternoon to watch free movies and enjoy a barbecue. It is also open to the public for a small fee.