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.

Parks Canada and Qikiqtani Inuit Association officially open Qausuittuq National Park

Qausuittuq National Park, composed of a cluster of islands in the High Arctic has been a significant historical site for Inuit dating back 4,500 years. The National Park is a traditional hunting and fishing area that has sustained Inuit of Resolute Bay in the recent past. National parks represent the very best that Canada has to offer and tell stories of who we are, including the history, cultures and contributions of Inuit Peoples.

On August 10th, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna, along with P.J. Akeeagok, President of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA), officially opened Qausuittuq National Park at a ceremony held in the community of Qausuittuq/Resolute Bay.

The Inuit Impact Benefit Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association ensures that Inuit in the region and the community of Qausuittuq/Resolute Bay benefit from the creation of this park today and in the future.

CNW News Release

How dance brought hope, joy to Pikangikum youth (includes video of the dance)

An innovative project, the Pikangikum Intergenerational Dance Project, inspired by Toronto dancer Sarah Robichaud was aimed at promoting connection, creation and expression between the youth and adults in the community. “We didn’t go there to teach them dance,” Robichaud says. “Rather, we wanted to empower the youth to tell their stories through movement.” 

Students were asked about their personal stories, experiences and understanding and created gestures and dance phrases to express their stories, which Robichaud then pieced together into a full program. The 20 students from grades 6 to 12 created out of their own experiences an evening of dance that they performed before nearly 300 parents, friends and community leaders.

Each section of the program was based on the Ojibwe seven grandfather teachings of truth, courage, humility, wisdom, respect, love and honesty.

Robichaud is currently working with school and band leaders to expand the project this fall to all grades. She also hopes local residents will assume leadership for the program.

Bob Hepburn,

Health Promotion Canada 2017 Recognition Awards: Deadline Sept 30, 2017

The inaugural Health Promotion Canada 2017 Recognition Awards offers the opportunity to elevate health promoters at various stages in their careers, and celebrate those who are making significant contributions in the field of health promotion across Canada.

The Nomination Form and two letters of support must be submitted by September 30, 2017 at 11:59 PM PST.

Recipients of the awards will receive a one year complimentary 2018 HPC membership (Lifetime Achievement recipients will receive a complimentary lifetime membership), and be recognized at HPC’s Annual General Meeting on December 7, 2017 and on HPC’s website.

2017 National Tom Longboat Awards Call for Nominations: Deadline Sept 15, 2017

The Tom Longboat Awards were established in 1951 to recognize Aboriginal athletes for their outstanding contributions to sport in Canada. As a program of the Aboriginal Sport Circle, the Tom Longboat Awards provide a forum for acknowledging the growth and strength of the Aboriginal sport movement in Canada and its tremendous impact on sport development from community level participation to elite level competition. The Awards include a male and female category.

For the 2017 program year, all nomination packages will be forwarded directly to the Aboriginal Sport Circle, where a National Selection Committee will determine the national recipients for the male and female category. The two national recipients will be presented with their Awards at the Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on November 9, 2017 in Toronto, Ontario.

Track and field day kicks off NB 2017 Indian Summer Games

Children between five and 19 from First Nations across New Brunswick will take part in the annual Indian Summer Games Aug 7-11, but the action got underway in Fredericton Wednesday with the track and field event, which is held a week early because of the number of athletes. Coordinator Brandy Polchies said the games, which were big in the 1980s, were brought back in 2010 through Aboriginal Sport and Recreation. "They helped us as First Nation communities to set it up and bring these events to our First Nation athletes." 

Gail Harding, CBCnews

Recreation North: Training for New Recreation Leaders

Recreation North has designed a training program for community recreation leaders. If you live in Yukon, NWT or Nunavut, and work or would like to work or volunteer in recreation, but have little or no formal training or education, this Program is designed for you.

A Pilot of the Program will run from October 2017 to May 2018.

Coaching Association of Canada and Aboriginal Sport Circle Launch Revisions to the Aboriginal Coaching Modules

To celebrate National Aboriginal Day, the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) and the Aboriginal Sport Circle (ASC) launched revised versions of the Aboriginal Coaching Modules (ACM). 

The ACM is a professional development training tool for all coaches, whether Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal, who coach Aboriginal athletes. Offered as a workshop through the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP), its content reflects the uniqueness of Indigenous cultures, values, and lifestyles, and is rolled out in three modules:

  1. Holistic Approach to Coaching;
  2. Dealing with Racism in Sport; and
  3. Individual and Community Health and Wellness.

Recent revisions to the ACM include updates to the definitions and terminology used around the subject of racism, as well as updates to the topics of nutrition, mental health, and influencing change in the community. The revisions also address the calls to action identified by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

'We all have a role': Jesuits, First Nations paddle towards reconciliation (includes 9-minute audio)

A group of over 30 Jesuits, Indigenous and lay people are taking the first strokes towards a new relationship, as they embark on a month-long canoe pilgrimage from Midland, Ont., to Montreal to promote reconciliation.

Kevin Kelly, a Jesuit scholastic who helped organize the trip says, "Truth and reconciliation, the calls to action are all about how do we work together. Not how do we continue to lead as the settlers leading the First Nations, Metis and Inuit. It's much more about how do we work together. How do we support each other?"

Paul Jacques, a member of the Michipicoten First Nation, is the navigator for the team and said he said he is taking on the task to honour his ancestors on a route that pre-dates contact with Indigenous people. "There's been a lot of talk about reconciliation. The next step is to move forward with physical progress. Something concrete." This is definitely a conduit for that. I see that among the paddlers, we're reconciling with one another, so there's definitely forward progression."

Olivia Stefanovich, CBC News

It’s Our Time AFN Education Tool Kit

The Assembly of First Nations has developed a free It's Our Time First Nations Tool Kit as the basis of a comprehensive strategy to reach out to First Nations students, teachers, schools, communities and the Canadian public at large. The resource is designed to bring together First Nations and non-First Nations people and foster a spirit of cooperation, understanding, and action. The toolkit is iTunes based and includes 81 free downloads on a wide variety of topics.

Indigenous youths set for 'reflective journey' across Atlantic on tall ship

No phones, no Internet, and no dry land. As part of Msit No'Kmaq Tall Ships Project, a sail training and leadership program, 45 young people ages 15 to 24 will be trekking across the Atlantic Ocean from Halifax to La Havre, France on the dutch ship, the Golden Leeuw. For many, this is their first time away from home — and even their first time aboard a ship.

Organizer Pytor Hodgson said the project is part of the federal summer jobs program, and he hopes the young people will take away skills they can use in future employment. "You can imagine how much they're going to learn. But equally important, they're going to take part in a leadership and healing component," said Hodgson. "To be able to reflect and look at the story of who they are, and how they can be the strongest and healthiest leaders in their communities."

Emma Davie, CBC News

Feds fund 'life-changing' Indigenous youth program in northern Sask.

The federal government is putting $2.2 million over five years towards a youth crime prevention project expected to involve about 450 high-risk Indigenous youth from the Clearwater River School and the La Loche Community School in northern Saskatchewan. The year-round program uses games and outdoor activities, including fishing and trapping, to teach young people about their Indigenous culture, as well as life skills such as problem solving and communication — but they "don't realize they're learning," said local program manager Mandy Herman. The program also aims to reduce substance abuse, drug-related crime and interpersonal violence. 

Kendall Latimer, CBC News

Dreamcatcher Charitable Foundation Sport and Recreation Grant - Deadline July 31, 2017

The Dreamcatcher Charitable Foundation is a registered foundation designated to provide support and address situations unique to the First Nations community. The Foundation will supply grants to individuals with a goal of developing youth as future community leaders.

See also the Educational support sector, Health Sector and the Arts & Culture sector grant criteria and deadlines (various dates).

Ontario Public Health Convention 2018 - Call for abstracts: Deadline Sep 22, 2017

The 2018 convention theme is LEADERSHIP. PARTNERSHIP. CHANGE. The objectives are - 

  • Identify ways to be leaders of change; create new and strengthen existing partnerships within our organizations, our sector and beyond.
  • Explore opportunities and strategies for leadership, innovation and action at all levels of the public health sector.
  • Describe emerging and ongoing issues, challenges and solutions to shape Ontario’s evolving public health system with a focus on high quality programs and services that strengthen communities and enhance the health of our populations.

The convention will be held March 21-23, 2018 at the Beanfield Centre, Toronto, ON

Paddling competition at Indigenous Games is 'tradition through sport'

The canoes and kayaks might be made of modern materials these days, but for many of the youth competing at the North American Indigenous Games, paddling is a sport deeply rooted in history and tradition. 

"Cross Lake [Manitoba] is full of paddlers and rowers," said Noretta Misswaggon, manager of Manitoba's canoeing team. And she adds that the pride of just being at the games is what's most important this week. "Just seeing the kids and how they've come from not knowing each other to being best friends and cheering each other on, the support they have for each other, it's really good to see."

Tim Fontaine, CBC News

Enabling Accessibility Fund - Application deadline July 26, 2017

The Government of Canada is currently accepting applications from eligible applicants interested in receiving funding from the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF).

The Standard Grant Application for Funding can be submitted under either of EAF's funding streams: the Workplace Accessibility Stream or the Community Accessibility Stream.

 For all details please see the Funding information link below.

Deadline: July 26, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST)

Laurentian University student starts 'cultural camp' for non-Indigenous youth

Laurentian University student Kaella-Marie Earle from Wikwemikong is working to start a cultural camp on Manitoulin Island for non-Indigenous Youth. The main goal is to "change the narrative for Canadians on Indigenous cultures, values and humanitarian issues," Earle said. "If we can teach the culture to non-Indigenous youth, it will help strengthen relationships between Canadians and help inspire policy makers to address these calls to action."

Earle has recruited an Indigenous professor and an elder for the camp and says it's also open to Indigenous people who have lost touch with their culture and traditions.

CBC News

Arctic Inspiration Prize Nominations open - Deadline Oct 23, 2017

The AIP is for the North and by the North, with generous support from the South. It encourages, enables and celebrates achievements of the peoples of the North. The AIP inspires team building and encourages these teams to develop innovative projects that provide a near-term benefit to Arctic communities. It enables teams to carry out projects, celebrates their achievements and, in so doing, inspires others to follow suit.

Relevance to the North

The AIP covers any opportunities or challenges that are of importance to the Canadian Arctic and its peoples. A project can have one or more focus areas such as, but not limited to, education, training, health and wellness, environment and climate change, recreation, tourism, culture and economic development.

Innu communities and conservation groups working together

Conservation organizations like Parks Canada and the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) are reaching out to partner with the Innu for their mutual benefit.

"Groups like UNESCO can benefit from our Indigenous knowledge to create policies and measures to protect the environment," said Raymond Rousselot, a band councillor with the Pessamit Innu First Nation. Our partnership with UNESCO becomes a symbol of honour, it is something our young people can be proud of, and it is proof to the outside world we value our land."

With the new agreement this year, a program is being developed to bring Innu youth up to partner with researchers, share knowledge of the land and learn valuable research skills.

Ossie Michelin, CBC News

2017 ChooseWell Healthy Community Awards: Deadline July 14, 2017

Are there good things happening in your community to promote wellbeing through physical activity and/or healthy eating? If so, nominate your community for a Healthy Community Award!

Communities will be recognized across five different population groups and four categories, including:

  • Creating Supportive Environments
  • Providing Health Education
  • Building Community Capacity
  • Developing Healthy Policies

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