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.

Microgrant application for Canada 150 Skating Day now open

The Canada 150 Skating Fund will provide 200 microgrants of $1,000 each to help cover costs for skating day activities in 200 communities across Canada. The grants will be awarded on a first come, first served basis while making sure the grants are spread widely and fairly across the country.

Your Canada 150 Skating Day event must:

  • take place on Sunday, December 10, 2017;
  • be held in an indoor skating rink;
  • last a minimum of 2 hours;
  • be FREE and open to the general public.

The grants can be used for anything that makes skating day activities open, accessible and fun for all members of your community, such as equipment rental, promotion and publicity, entertainment, materials and supplies, food, and even professional fees to help coordinate and plan your event. 

Victoria considers time limits for park use

A new bylaw being considered in Victoria would limit time spent in parks to six hours in one location, closing any part of a park when required for public safety, and impounding property left in the park. For people using the park for overnight sheltering (allowed but they must pack up by 7 a.m.), the bylaw would require that they move to new areas each morning.

Megan Thomas, CBC News

Ontario's Goderich Recreation Park Wins 2017 KRAFT HEINZ PROJECT PLAY Grand Prize

Following two days of voting, in which Canadians cast an impressive 766,294 votes in support of the Top 4 projects, Goderich Recreation Park receives the $250,000 grand prize winner of the 2017 KRAFT HEINZ PROJECT PLAY to help revitalize the community's multi-sport park. KRAFT HEINZ PROJECT PLAY is a joint partnership between TSN, RDS, and Kraft Heinz to provide Canadian communities with funds for play-based infrastructure projects. This year's campaign received a record breaking 1,195 nominations from 950 communities across CanadaBoyd Stadium at Simplot Millenium Park in Brandon, MB, Optimist Hill in Saskatoon, SK, and Scotia Pool in Bible Hill, NS all receive $20,000 runner-up prizes for infrastructure upgrades.

CISION News Release

Travelling the Credit connects youth to nature and Indigenous culture

This fall, several youths are leading free nature walks along the Credit River, sharing what she learned this summer through Travelling the Credit, a program that brought Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth together to learn about the history, people and ecology of the Credit River. Indigenous elders and leaders led the workshops, which were run by the environmental group Ecosource. Travelling the Credit was funded by the Ontario150 Program and workshops were held on the Credit River and at the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation (MNCFN). Topics included traditional birch bark canoe building by Sylvia Plain; Métis history and culture in the area by Bill Morrison and Darlene Lent; and Anishinaabe traditional foods by Mark Sault and Johl Whiteduck Ringuette.

Isabel Teotonio, Toronto Star

New Recreation North Training Program for Emerging Recreation Leaders - Now Accepting Applications!

Recreation North has designed a training program based on 13 core competencies 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 in the field, this Program is designed for you.

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

For more information about the Program and Pilot, please click here to view the Recreation North Pilot presentation updated August 2017.

Space in the Pilot is limited to 25 individuals from Nunavut, NWT and Yukon. The deadline to register is September 11, 2017.

2018 PRO Awards Programs: Deadline Nov 3, 2017

Parks and Recreation Ontario’s Awards Program recognizes and honours the achievements of people and organizations that contribute to the advancement of parks and recreation to enhance quality of life. These highly coveted provincial awards include recognition for communities, individuals, students and agencies.

Awards include: Award of Distinction; Awards of Excellence; High Five® Awards; Student and Academic Awards; Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRA) Awards; and, Recognition Certificates.

Four Sask. First Nations host their own Amazing Race

Four First Nation communities in southern Saskatchewan completed a series of intense challenges on Sunday with thousands of dollars on the line. The 4-nation Amazing Race included tasks and challenges such as biking on a dirt road for 10 km, canoeing 15 km, biking 20 km, hiking up Ochapowace Ski Hill and horseback riding for 12 km. The last teammate was required to fillet and cook a fish over a fire they had to start themselves, without matches.

The four Chiefs from each of the First Nations meet quarterly and talk about important topics in their communities. The idea for the race was sparked from one of those meetings, Chief Cadmus Delorme of Cowessess First Nation said.

"Even though we all have our own jurisdiction, our own values, it's stuff like this that can bring us together and really showcase the unity that we have with one another," he said.

Alex Soloducha, CBC News

Call-out for Host Communities for 2017/18 BC Indigenous Provincial Athlete Development Camps

Deadline: Sept 8, 2017. The Provincial Camps series are slated to include the following sports:

• 3-D Archery
• Swimming
• Athletics (Track & Field)
• Rifle Shooting
• Volleyball
• Badminton
• Wrestling

These Championships and Camps have been strategically established to support Indigenous athlete development in sports featured in the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG). Information regarding the specific details of the Team BC Selection processes for each sport will be released in early 2019. Committed to establishing a consistent, comprehensive Indigenous Team BC program that results in increased participation and better preparation, I∙SPARC has established a Team BC Work Group who has, in turn, formed Provincial Sport Committees that will maintain oversight of the Provincial Championships and Development Camps.

Youth Friendly Community Recognition Program - Application Deadline Jan 5, 2018

Is your community one which makes an investment in youth play? Do you want to make sure that youth have access to as many opportunities as possible?  If so, then you will want to apply to be recognized as a Youth Friendly Community. The Program works to acknowledge the great work that some communities are doing in ensuring their youth (ages 13 - 19) have continuous access to a diversity of 'play' (play being anything a young person does in his/her free time which could include: sport, recreation, drama, dance, music, the arts, volunteerism, leadership development, service leadership and/or civic engagement).

This is a community application so work to get youth, service partners and the general public involved with the application process! These groups can help provide examples from places such as libraries, local businesses like bowling alleys or movie theatres, and even community groups like the Scouts and Cadets.

Youth also have the opportunity to participate in the application. Youth can share their opinions and feedback on programs, activities and services they enjoy and can also explain how Youth Friendly they feel their community is.

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

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