North American Indigenous Games

New and old: all roads lead to NAIG

The Native Youth Olympics have been around Ontario for 25 years, but this year, the multi-location, multi-sports events have taken on a new mission.

Ontario Indigenous youths work towards International Games

A young athlete gets focused on the 100-metres starting line at the Native Youth Olympics. (cbc sports)

The Native Youth Olympics have been around Ontario for 25 years, but this year, the multi-location, multi-sports events have taken on a new mission.

Instead of being a series of one-and-done sporting events, the organizers are now actively seeking potential athletes to represent Ontario in the international North American Indigenous Games.

This weekend saw the second stop of the Sport Development Tour. Munsee-Delaware Nation of the Thames hosted nine communities and friendship centres at the Chippewa Antler River Elementary School field.

Kids from age eight and up have been practising and training, in school and on their own. Age-eligible athletes are already setting their sights on Halifax 2020. Kids younger than 12 who show promise now, may be coming on to coaches' radar for the NAIG events of 2023 and beyond. Upcoming summer events will include canoe/kayak, lacrosse, fastball, wrestling, soccer and volleyball.

WATCH: On the road to NAIG:

Nine Ontario First Nations communities take a day at the races as part of the Native Youth Olympics this summer. The track meet helps identify potential contestants for next year's continent-wide NAIG competition in Halifax. 3:08

All the Indigenous athletic events this summer are united under the #team88 banner… which refers to the 88th of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's 94 Calls to Action. Number 88 urges all levels of government to take action to ensure long-term Indigenous athlete development and growth through continued support for the North American Indigenous Games.

NAIG is a multi-sport, multi-disciplinary event for Indigenous youth, between the ages of 13 and 19, from across North America (Turtle Island). The Games offer sport and cultural programs, showcasing local and North American Indigenous cultural groups and artists.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

now