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Ontario Welcomes North American Indigenous Games Athletes

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Ontario Welcomes North American Indigenous Games Athletes

Province Hosting Games for the First Time

Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport

Ontario is hosting the 2017 North American Indigenous Games -- one of the largest sporting and cultural gatherings of Indigenous people in the world.  This is the first time Ontario will host the international event, which showcases the athleticism and cultural heritage of Indigenous youth.  

The province will welcome over 5,000 athletes from across Canada and the United States for the Games, with competitions taking place from July 17 to July 22. Athletes will compete in 14 different sports across the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA) at some of the state-of-the-art venues built for the 2015 Pan / Parapan American Games. Competitions include:

  • Lacrosse from July 17 to July 21 at the Gaylord Powless Arena in Ohsweken, the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena in Hagersville and the Harry Howell Arena in Hamilton
  • Soccer from July 17 to July 22 at McMaster University in Hamilton
  • 3-D Archery from July 18 to July 20 at the Hamilton Angling and Hunting Association in Ancaster
  • Canoe/Kayak from July 18 to July 20 at the Welland International Flat Water Centre in Welland
  • Swimming on July 20 and July 21 at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre in Toronto

Admission to all sport competitions is free.  A full competition schedule is available at NAIG2017.to.

To celebrate Indigenous heritage and culture, daily festivals will be held at York University and at McMaster University.  These free festivals will include traditional artisans, music, entertainment, cuisine and displays of art.

The Games provide Indigenous athletes, coaches and officials with the opportunity to participate in organized sport, develop their skills and pursue excellence in their sport. The province is providing support for the Games and for Ontario athletes, including recruitment events, training camps, Team Ontario uniforms and travel subsidies for athletes who live in Ontario's northern communities.

Hosting athletic competitions and investing in the development of amateur athletes is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives. 

Quick Facts

  • Ontario’s support for the Games is administered through the Aboriginal Sport and Wellness Council of Ontario, and includes $285,000 to support Team Ontario Indigenous athletes and $3.5 million to successfully deliver the Games.
  • Supporting Indigenous youth is one of the many steps on Ontario's journey of reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. As a part of Journey Together: Ontario's Commitment to Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, this initiative reflects the government's commitment to work with Indigenous partners, creating a better future for everyone in the province.
  • The Games are expected to attract 10,000 visitors to the GTHA and generate $35 million for the local economy.

Additional Resources


“Sport plays a vital role in living a healthy and active life, and has the ability to empower and motivate young people across the province. Ontario is pleased to support the North American Indigenous Games, where young Indigenous athletes will achieve personal bests and inspire future athletes with their success. I look forward to experiencing the cultural festivals and seeing Ontario athletes on the podium!”

Eleanor McMahon

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

“Ontario is thrilled to host these Games which will showcase the achievements of young Indigenous athletes and the communities they represent. We are pleased to join First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities in advancing reconciliation by supporting Indigenous athletes competing at NAIG2017 and well beyond. I urge you to attend the Games and cheer on these youth as they inspire the nation with their determination and athleticism. Go Team Ontario!”

David Zimmer

Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation

“The North American Indigenous Games is not only about the spirit of sport but embodies everything that is good about life and new experiences. Reflecting on the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual components of our well-being and celebrating the beauty of our gifts and those around us.”

Stephen Kwinter

Executive Director, Aboriginal Sport and Wellness Council of Ontario

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