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.

Athletics, reconciliation to come together at Indigenous Games

Reconciliation will be a central theme when Indigenous athletes from across North America gather in Toronto this summer.

More than 5,000 athletes will compete July 16-23 at the North American Indigenous Games, where the theme will be Team 88, which references the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's 88th call to action directing Canada to support Indigenous sports. To mark the call to action, the City of Toronto declared April 19 — 88 days before the Games kick off — Team 88 Day, with celebrations at Nathan Phillips Square at city hall downtown.

CBC News

Collaborative to Support 35 On The Land Projects in 2017

This year, the NWT On The Land Collaborative will distribute $634,845 to 35 projects across the territory that connect NWT residents with their land, culture, and community. On the land programs promote community, family, and individual wellbeing, and are vital to healthy ecosystems and economies. 

Funded projects range from support for a canoe trip for grade nine students, for healing and wellness camps for youth in Rádeyįlįkóé (Fort Good Hope), Trails on the Land, a 10-day trip beginning in Tuktoyaktuk that will take youth and elders through the traditional hunting territory of their ancestors; a land-based youth mentorship project coordinated by the Deh Gah Gotine First Nation; a boating program for Tłįchǫ youth that teaches traditional knowledge and skills; and a hide tanning camp in Łutsel K’e. In addition to financial support, funded projects may also receive equipment, training, and program support.

Media Release

Nominate your active transportation program for Landmark designation: Deadline June 5

Nominate your active / sustainable transportation program for Landmark designation! The nomination form, which can be downloaded from must be submitted by June 5, 2017. Designations will be announced by October 2017, and case study webinars will be presented between January and June 2018.


  • Professional Recognition and Visibility
  • Documentation of Your Work
  • Contribution to your Professional Community
  • Expert Review: You'll get frank, confidential program review comments and suggestions from the selection panel members, who are experts in a range of related backgrounds. All nominations that are presented to the panels receive a complete list of unattributed panel comments. For many nominees, this is the most valuable benefit. Designation as a Landmark case study recognizes behavior change / social marketing approaches and programs considered to be among the most successful in the world.

The designated programs gain exposure, credibility and free, on-line program case study materials, which can make it easier for them to maintain or increase program funding. Each designated approach / program is featured in a case study webinar. A video and transcript of the webinar, and a written case study based on the webinar, are publicly available after the webinar. Program organizers can use the Landmark logo to indicate their designation.

When used on your website or in electronic newsletters, a unique embedded HTML code provides direct click-through access to your program's online case study materials. Selected nominations are published on the Tools of Change website even if they have not been designated.

For more details and to view Landmark case studies designated in past years, go to or contact: Jay Kassirer, General Manager, Tools of Change President, Cullbridge Marketing and Communications, 2699 Priscilla Street, Ottawa ON Canada K2B 7E1, 613-224-3800 1-800-262-0934 x1

Try our free, widely-acclaimed social marketing toolkit and case study bank at

Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation Council, Spring 2017 Host Applications – ALL BC REGIONS

I·SPARC invites First Nations, Métis Chartered Communities, Friendship Centres and other not-for-profit Indigenous organizations to apply to host a Sport Development Camp, Coaching Certification Course, and/or Officials Training Session in their community.

Each of our six Regional Committees have identified priority sports for their respective region. These priority sports serve as the focal point for region-wide sport development in the areas of youth sport camps, and coaching/officials development.

I-SPARC News Release

Track and field leads Indigenous youth down new path

Track and field gives Taryn McKenzie, one of 423 athletes competing at the 9th annual Saskatchewan Aboriginal Track and Field Competition in Saskatoon recently, much more than a chance to earn a medal and represent her community. It has taught the 17-year-old to never give up on herself.

McKenzie's community is one of several in northern Saskatchewan that has lost youth to suicide over the past several months. She said a lot of young people have found that sports like volleyball and basketball can help them deal with the stress and adversity they may be facing.

CBC News

Walk this Way / Walk this Way First Nations kits available in both hardcopy and electronic format

The Walk This Way Kit supports healthy communities by promoting regular walking as a sustainable form of physical activity.

How to use this tool:

  • Share it: The kit provides individuals with information that they need to support them in creating healthy walking habits – share the kit with participants via recreation centres, schools, and other organizations.
  • Track it: The calendar for tracking physical activity progress also provides information on walking, the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines, safety tips, and stretching. Encourage participants to use the calendar (with their own step tracker or with the pedometer provided in the hardcopy version) to track their progress.

You can also order the Walk This Way Leader's Guide (electronically) in English or French, Le guide du meneur Ça marche.

This resource is available in hardcopy and electronically in English and in French, Trousse Ça marche.

Hoop dreams come true:Toronto Raptors give $50K grant to Indigenous basketball program

The Thunder Hawks Indigenous basketball program at Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School in Thunder Bay, Ont., which is run by the Northern Nishnawbe Education Council, has been awarded a $50,000 Toronto Raptors Community Action Grant to help promote the sport both in the classroom and in the 24 remote First Nations communities it serves. Some of the money will go towards new equipment, uniforms and even running shoes.

Cathy Alex, CBC News

Recreation Newfoundland and Labrador and ParticipACTION team up in Find Your Fit program

Recreation Newfoundland and Labrador and ParticipACTION are teaming up for the third annual Find Your Fit! Community Physical Activity Challenge to inspire Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to make physical activity a priority. The Challenge is a province-wide physical activity challenge taking place throughout April that aims to get communities motivated and moving toward healthy, active living through physical activity challenges and education.

ParticipACTION created the 150 Play List to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday. It is the ultimate list of 150 physical activities that define us as Canadian. Canadians are being challenged to try as many of the activities on the list as possible, with events taking place from coast to coast to coast to give Canadians the chance to get moving and participate.

CNW News Release

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

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