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.

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

Glooscap First Nation among Annapolis Valley locations to receive provincial recreation funding

NS Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister Leo Glavine announced $257,000 in grants for a dozen recreation and community projects across the Valley, including $30,000 slated for the first nation’s outdoor recreation complex.

Glooscap Chief Sidney Peters said he was happy to see the province become a partner on the project. “Activity and recreation is something we have to do for the well-being of our community members and our elders and an opportunity for people to gather,” he said. The new facility, still in its design phase, will have a playground, community garden and a cultural component.

Colin Chisholm, The Hants Journal

2017 MBA Symposium - Call for Presenters, Deadline July 14

Parks and Recreation Ontario, in partnership with Play Works - founder of the Youth Friendly Community Recognition Program - presents the MBA, which will:

  • offer information on trends and issues relevant to working with youth (ages 13 to 19 years)
  • share information on best practices - what works and why
  • develop networks to strengthen the approach to working with youth

The MBA audience is managers of youth programs and staff who work directly in these programs. Delegates come from municipal recreation/community services departments, not-for-profit agencies, community sports groups, faith-based organizations, health and health promotion units, schools, post secondary educational institutions, and social service organizations. 

Presentations will be 50 minutes long and, for the benefit of the audience, selected sessions will have a mix of:

  • information, tools and/or strategies  which can be used/applied by delegates when they return home (not just a show and tell presentation):
  • physical activity: and
  • small group work or table discussion.

Where possible, having youth as co-presenters will be viewed favourably by the Planning Team. 

Deadline for Submission: Monday, July 14, 2017

Girls tackling taboos by playing box lacrosse at North American Indigenous Games

Mackenzie and Taylor Deleary will be breaking barriers at the NAIG — the first time in the Games 25-year history that women's box lacrosse teams will be allowed to participate. Traditionally, in Haudenosaunee (also known as Iroquois) communities, women have been enthusiastic supporters of lacrosse, but playing it was taboo.

"Lacrosse is known as a medicine game and it was made for the men in that respect," says Mekwan Tulpin, a Cree from Fort Albany First Nation who plays for Canada's national field lacrosse team and is helping coach Team Ontario. The participation of Indigenous women in lacrosse has been gaining momentum since the 1980s, but Tulpin believes this year's NAIG may act as an important turning point. He says they've had better attendance for the women's tryouts and practices than the men's.

Duncan McCue, CBC News

Nominate an Amazing Recreation Leader For an NWTRPA Award: Deadline July 31

Each year the NWTRPA presents awards to celebrate and recognize dedicated recreation professionals and volunteers in northern communities for their continuing efforts and achievements in promoting recreation and active living for all northerners. Those nominees who are selected for each award will be flown to Inuvik, all expenses paid, to accept their award at the NWTRPA Awards Banquet. Nominations are open for all six awards until July 31, 2017.

Indigenous inspired playground a London first (includes short video)

Educators say a new Indigenous inspired playground at London's C.C. Carrothers Public School is the first of its kind in the Thames Valley District School Board. Each piece of the playground is symbolic of Indigenous culture and is aimed at making students who self-identify as Indigenous feel more welcome in the school community. The school includes students from 27 different cultures, where one in four students self-identifies as Indigenous.

"Welcoming families into our building, all families into our building, it's got to be at the core of what we do," Beth Zimmerman, the principal of C.C. Carrothers Public School told CBC News. 

Colin Butler, CBC News

Self-discovery part of the curriculum in Yukon land-based college program

A Yukon College program helps eight First Nation students develop leadership skills on the land in a four-week program that includes hunting and fishing with the students travelling by water from Minto Landing to Fort Selkirk on a raft they've built. The goal of the program is to give each student the skills and experience to become leaders, according to John Reid, department head for Yukon College's northern region.

He said it makes sense to base the program on the land instead of in a conventional classroom. "Traditionally First Nation people lived on the land, they existed on the land, they lived on the land, so how do we take that concept and mold it within our institution."

CBC News

Canadian nonprofit Parkbus launches express bus service from downtown Vancouver to B.C. provincial parks

Métis women bring traditional gardening to the heart of downtown Toronto

A group of Métis women in Toronto, Métis Women's Talking Circle, are connecting with their heritage by planting a garden full of traditional herbs and medicines. The women plan to plant one bed of medicines like sage, sweetgrass and tobacco, and another full of vegetables. 

The talking circle's elder, Constance Simmonds, said that part of the garden's importance is increasing the visibility of Métis people in Toronto. Simmonds is a senator with the Métis Nation of Ontario's Toronto and York Region Métis Council, and shares teachings with the talking circle every month.

CBC News

School on a river: N.W.T.'s 'bush university' offers credits for paddling down Peel River

The Yellowknife based Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning — the N.W.T.'s 'bush university' — is partnering with the Youth of the Peel Society, in a pilot program that will offer university credits for the University of British Columbia. On-the-land education for successful applicants will include study of the Peel watershed, and indigenous history and culture — all the while paddling down the Wind and Peel rivers. It will be roughly three weeks on water, and some time on the land training and learning.

Priscilla Hwang, CBC News

New program in Nanaimo hopes to simplify how to live healthy

A new healthy living strategy, 5-2-1-0, stands for five fruits or vegetables, two hours or less of recreational use in front of a screen, one hour of activity and zero sugary drinks a day. It's being run by the City of Nanaimo, the Regional District of Nanaimo and Island Health.

“It's really about simplifying the message and all speaking the same language so everyone understands things they can do in their own life that will help them with their health and wellness,” said recreation coordinator Tara Fedosoff.  

Spencer Sterritt, Nanaimo News NOW

NWT youth head ‘back to the trail’ - short video

For one week, 60 youth from across the Northwest Territories are able to get together face to face as friends at Back to the Trail camp. The camp includes workshops, games, and activities and encourages youth to discuss the many challenges they face and how to overcome obstacles. The camp was funded by Health Canada and hosted by the territorial government and various indigenous wellness committees.

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