Read about what's going on in sport and recreation in Aboriginal communities. We are always on the lookout for unique programs, news, resources and updates. If you have any news you would like us to include here, submit your info on the right.

B.C. and I·SPARC Honour Provincial Recipients of Premier’s Awards for Aboriginal Youth Excellence in Sport

The 2016 Premier’s Awards for Aboriginal Youth Excellence in Sport were presented March 21st to twelve outstanding Aboriginal youth athletes from British Columbia. 

The Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation Council (I·SPARC), in collaboration with the Government of British Columbia, created the Awards to highlight the incredible achievements of Aboriginal youth athletes in the province. The second-annual awards honour Aboriginal athletes under 25 years of age who have achieved excellence in performance sport, are regarded for their leadership qualities, are committed to a higher education, and are recognized as community role models both on and off the field.

I·SPARC News Release

HIGH FIVE® Training now recognized by the Coaching Association of Canada as Professional Development

HIGH FIVE® and the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC), have joined to announce that HIGH FIVE training is being recognized as professional development (PD) within the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP). In order for NCCP coaches to maintain their certified status, they are required to obtain PD points. They can be earned through a multitude of activities that coaches already participate in, and the recent collaboration with HIGH FIVE offers increased opportunities and access for continued, life-long learning. Coaches who have taken HIGH FIVE training as of January 1st , 2016 or afterwards will have it recognized as PD points, and furthermore, towards the maintenance of their NCCP certification.

HIGH FIVE® and Coaching Association of Canada News Release

CPRA Applauds Federal Government Commitment to Parks and Recreation Opportunities for Canadians

"The Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRA) applauds the federal government’s leadership in ensuring Canadians have access to the benefits of parks and recreation. Multiple commitments outlined in the federal budget today [March 22] demonstrate a government that values parks and recreation and the health and wellness it provides Canadians.

The federal government’s investments align with the five goals of the Framework for Recreation – a document that is a call to action in the pursuit of common priorities in the sector. The five goals include: Active Living; Inclusion and Access: Connecting People and Nature; Supportive Environments; and Recreation Capacity. Today’s federal budget speaks to each of these goals."

CPRA Press Release

Wintertime Green Shacks bring back organized play to Edmonton city parks

Wintertime play options has come to some Edmonton parks as the City of Edmonton has turned the seasonal Green Shack program into a roving year-round program. From September until June, eight different green shacks will rotate through parks around town. Each will be there for a month, open one day on the weekend, and two days a week after school. Play options include building snow castles, snowshoeing, or flashlight tag during the dark December days.

Margeaux Morin, Global News

Extended registration for International Physical Literacy Conference (IPLC) 2017 - March 21, 2017

The registration deadline for the International Physical Literacy Conference 2017 (IPLC2017) has been extended until Tuesday, March 21 at 10pm PST! The IPLC2017 takes place April 12-15 at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto, Ontario.

There are four keynotes who will be presenting throughout the conference, as well as 13 exciting and engaging Active Workshops during the day on April 12, prior to the IPLC. View the descriptions as well as download the Active Workshops schedule from the program page.

First Nations to have greater role in parks: federal environment minister

Speaking at a recent parks conference, Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said indigenous protected areas will be one way Canada meets its international goal of conserving 17 per cent of its land by 2020. Such areas are regions singled out for conservation by local First Nations and identified through self-government agreements or land claims. They would also be managed and monitored by the bands.

The land would be given some form of legal status through legislation. That would allow it to count toward Canada’s 2020 goal, a promise it made in 2010 under the international Convention on Biological Diversity.

Bob Weber, Canadian Press

FPT Gov'ts Seeking Additional Input to Inform Framework for Physical Activity - Perspectives of Rural, Remote, Northern, and/or Indigenous Communities in Canada: Deadline Mar 10

The Conference Board of Canada is seeking additional input to inform a framework for physical activity from the perspectives of rural, remote, northern, and/or indigenous communities in Canada.

Canadian residents aged 18 and older are invited to participate in this survey. It should take approximately 20 minutes to complete. At the close of the survey you will be provided with the option to self-register into a draw for a FitBit exercise and fitness monitor.

Conference Board of Canada

S'cool Life Fund! - Deadline March 31, 2017

Available to Canadian non-tuition public elementary schools (K-8).

Since launching in 2005, the S'Cool Life Fund has provided grants for 975 D.R.E.A.M.S. (Drama, Recreation, Extra-Curricular, Arts, Music, or Sports) projects across the country worth almost $2.6million helping to make school life more enjoyable for thousands of public elementary school kids (K-8).

First Nations call for more say in park system at Canadian Parks Conference

Giving Indigenous people a greater say in the operation of national parks and the creation of new protected areas is on the agenda at the Canadian Parks Conference being held in Banff March 8-11. First Nations leaders and federal and provincial officials are to review proposals that could give more legal weight to protected areas designated by bands, said conference delegate Steve Nitah.

"Canada can be a real leader in the process of reconciliation by re-establishing a new relationship with Indigenous governments and communities that have been impacted by national parks and provincial parks that have been created in the past," he said.

Bob Weber, The Canadian Press

'The future looks good': Behchoko youth flock to new rec centre - NWT (includes video)

For the first time in 10 years — since the Tlicho community's old rec centre closed — kids can learn to skate in an ice rink in their home community. They can play in the gym, relax in a dedicated youth centre, or use the fitness studio, and much more. The centre is also providing employment for around 20 people, with up to eight working at any one time.

The $15 million centre was funded in part by federal and Tlicho government grants alongside cash from Dominion Diamond Corporation.

Jesse Bierman, the facility's recreation manager, says that "seeing everyone coming over here laughing and smiling, participating, and seeing how many youth are actually using this facility is a really good feeling. It's great. We have a lot of parental involvement, and youth are coming in every day. We average 40 to 60 kids playing with all the games in the youth centre, skating around and playing in the gym."

Ollie Williams, CBC News

Ontario Working With Thunder Bay Community to Reopen Recreation Centre for People with Disabilities

Ontario is working with Thunder Bay community groups to reopen the Wilderness Discovery Family Resort and Conference Centre on Shebandowan Lake, which provided outdoor recreational opportunities for individuals with impairments. 

In 2015, the local organization operating the property decided to redirect its resources to other programming. Local community groups have expressed interest in acquiring the fully accessible property so that they can continue to offer barrier-free services and recreational facilities for Ontarians and their families.

The province will consult with Indigenous partners and will work with the local community to develop a detailed plan for the property, outlining specifics for the centre as well as plans for other community programming to serve youth, veterans and seniors.

Province of Ontario News Release

FitNation Spring Leader Training Request for Applications - Deadline March 1

FitNation was specifically designed to increase physical activity in Indigenous communities and Friendship Centres throughout BC. The program is for all ages, fitness levels, scalable to any size group, and requires no specialized facilities or equipment.

Participation is available through an application process. Those selected to receive the training are required to deliver an 8-week FitNation program within their community organization, Friendship Centre, or school. Those selected to attend will have all travel costs and expenses for attending are covered by the Partners Council.

Parks Canada reintroduces bison to Banff National Park after 130 years (includes video)

Rangers have successfully reintroduced a herd of plains bison to Canada’s oldest national park, officials said on Monday, more than 130 years after the iconic North American animal last grazed the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies. The herd of 16 will stay under observation in an enclosure in the remote Panther Valley until summer 2018, when the animals will be released into the full 1,189 square kilometers re-introduction zone in the park’s eastern valleys.

Nia Williams, The Globe and Mail

WHO raises alarm at sedentary lifestyles, urges exercise

The World Health Organisation, WHO, has raised the alarm over what it termed the growing sedentary lifestyles among adults and adolescents, and urged people to “get up and get active”, saying that insufficient exercise contributes to cancer, diabetes, depression and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

The new document, Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs 2013-2020, recommends that inactive people start with “small amounts of physical activity” and then gradually increase duration, frequency and intensity over time and highlighted 10 facts and benefits of physical activity.

Link to full report here.

Tri-Territorial Recreation Training Project: Expressions of Interest for Trainers/Facilitators - Deadline Feb 27

In January 2016, the Tri-Territorial Recreation Training (TRT) Project was honoured to receive the 2015 Arctic Inspiration Prize to support development of a training program to strengthen the capacity of Northern community recreation leaders. The TRT Project aligns with the Framework for Recreation in Canada and ensures the continued growth and sustainability of the recreation field in the North. Led by Yukon, NWT and Nunavut recreation and parks associations, the Tri-Territorial Recreation Training (TRT) Project develops leaders who enhance the wellbeing of individuals, communities and environments through recreation.

The TRT Project seeks Northern individuals to deliver and facilitate specialized recreation leader training. Individuals from Yukon, NWT and Nunavut will be given priority and are invited to express their interest. Trainers from other jurisdictions may be considered, particularly if they have a broad knowledge of recreation content and are comfortable delivering online.

Former NHL player, now Right to Play ambassador, leads Thunder Bay hockey clinic

Former First Nations NHL player John Chabot is inspiring students to succeed on the ice at a hockey development camp in Thunder Bay, ON. Chabot said he'll consider the week a success if he sees the students enjoying themselves, and explains that he visited one community where he was told by teachers not to expect much from one young person, whom they had never seen smile.

"And the kid at the end of the time was laughing, lying on the ice, playing and that's all it's about. You won't be making an NHL player from something like this, but you could have a very positive influence on a kid's life."

Cathy Alex, CBC News

Team BC Selection Updates for NAIG Games: Badminton, Archery, Athletics, Wrestling and Swimming

Team BC is accepting Athlete Expression of Interest Applications for the following remaining sports at the 2017 North American Indigenous Games, to be held in Toronto, Ontario from July 16 to 23, 2017:
Badminton: Expression of Interest Application - February 17, 2017
Badminton Online Application
Archery: Expression of Interest Application - March 31, 2017
BC Aboriginal Archery Camp Registration - March 6, 2017
BC Aboriginal Provincial Archery Camp - March 11-12, 2017
Archery Online Application
Athletics: Expression of Interest Application - April 3, 2017
Athletics Online Application
Wrestling: BC Aboriginal Wrestling Camp - February 2, 2017
Expression of Interest Application - March 10, 2017
Wrestling Online Application
Swimming: Expression of Interest Application - February 6, 2017
Swimming Online Application

CBC Named Premier Media Partner for the Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games

North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) Host Society today announced that CBC/Radio-Canada has been named premier media partner for the upcoming North American Indigenous Games, scheduled for July 16-23, 2017. The agreement will provide historic coverage of the ninth NAIG on multiple platforms through various programming areas across the network, giving all Canadians unprecedented access to the eight-day multisport and cultural event.


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