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Sports and Recreation

North American Indigenous Games

It has long been a dream to have a meeting of indigenous people of North America for sport and culture. A meeting was held in Reno Nevada to organize these in 1975. The key people were John Fletcher, a Peigan from Edmonton, Alberta, and Willie Littlechild, a Cree of the Ermineskin Tribe at Hobbema, Alberta.

Then in 1977, "Willie Littlechild presented the motion to host International Indigenous Games at a meeting in Sweden. It was unanimously passed. A Brazilian elder was so moved, he presented Willie Littlechild with a war arrow representing peace in his tribe. Advising it be pointed to the ground, this arrow would direct anything evil toward the underground. It is now part of the sacred ceremonial run." From http://www.museevirtuel.ca/Exhibitions/Traditions/English/

Few Indigenous peoples compete in mainstream sport, especially youth.

"The North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) is an opportunity for Indigenous youth across North America to:

  • compete in 15 sports: archery, basketball, boxing, canoeing, golf, box lacrosse, marathon, rifle shooting, rodeo, soccer, softball, swimming, track and field, volleyball, and wrestling;
  • prepare for sporting events such as Provincial and Canada Games;
  • and celebrate their heritage."


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