We call upon all levels of government to take action to ensure long-term Aboriginal athlete development and growth, and continued support for the North American Indigenous Games, including funding to host the games and for provincial and territorial team preparation and travel. 

Indigenous Watchdog Status Update

Current StatusAug. 17, 2020IN PROGRESS
Previous StatusJune 15, 2020IN PROGRESS

Why “In Progress”?

The federal government has made multiple funding allocations through Budgets 2017 and 2018 (through to 2023) to address:

  • long-term Aboriginal athlete development and growth
  • continued support for the North American Indigenous Games
  • funding to host the games and for provincial and territory team preparation and travel

There has been minimal commitments for ongoing funding at the provincial/territory level aside from federal budget contributions to local initiatives. Limited provincial commitment for the North American Indigenous Games other than ‘Bid” funding for locally hosted North American Indigenous Games.

Mar. 25, 2020 – North American Indigenous Games scheduled to be held July 12 – 18 in Kjipuktuk (Halifax), Aldershot and Millbrook, have been postponed due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19

Government Commitments to North American Indigenous Games

British Columbia

BC committed $3.5M to their unsuccessful bid for the 2020 NAIG Songhees Nation Games bid.

BC Sport Participation Program (BCSPP), funded $244,000 in 2018/19 equally by the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia. This new funding will also improve sport opportunities for Indigenous populations and support projects that strengthen physical literacy and the participation of children and youth in sport as well as strengthen the capacity and leadership of Indigenous sport organizations and to increase culturally relevant sport programming for Indigenous children and youth, such as supporting athletes from British Columbia training for the North American Indigenous Games.

June 28, 2019 – $1.46M in funding to offset costs for more than 500 athletes, coaches, chaperones and mission staff from B.C. Without this funding, fees would need to be increased and participation on Team BC would be out of reach for many families. Reducing barriers to participation in sport remains a priority for both the provincial government and the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Council (I∙SPARC), the provincial organization that oversees B.C.’s participation in the NAIG.


Regina hosted the 2014 NAIG events


The Government of Ontario has provided matching funds for the Toronto 2017 NAIG of $3.5M, and, through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, and the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, has committed to support the execution of the event.

Nova Scotia

May 4, 2018 – Nova Scotia has committed $3.5M funding for the 2020 event that will be held in Halifax and Millbrook, First Nation in Truro, NS.

New Brunswick

June 22, 2018 – New licence plate promotes Nova Scotia’s Mi’kmaw heritage. The plate features a Mi’kmaw petroglyph that many Mi’kmaq connect to the eight-point star, which has political and historical significance, while some connect the image to the traditional districts of Mi’kma’ki which is Mi’kmaw traditional territory. The additional $24 donation fee will support Mi’kmaw youth sport and recreation activities.

Official Federal Government Response: Sept. 5, 2019

Sept. 5, 2019 – Through Budget 2017, the Government of Canada invested $18.9 million over 5 years, starting in fiscal year 2017 to 2018, and ongoing funding of $5.5 million every 4 years thereafter, to support Indigenous youth through sport initiatives. More Indigenous children and youth will be able to participate in sport through investments in the following 4 areas:

  • Indigenous sport leadership
  • culturally relevant sport programming
  • the North American Indigenous Games
  • Sport Canada’s data and research

More specifically, the investments will allocate funds to:

  • the Aboriginal Sport Circle to assume a greater leadership role on Indigenous sport development
  • provinces and territories, through bilateral agreements, to increase the operational capacity of provincial and territorial Indigenous sport bodies, increase the offering of culturally relevant sport programming including North American Indigenous Games team preparation and travel
  • national sport organizations and multisport service organizations to ensure long-term indigenous athlete development and growth through increasing the offering of culturally relevant sport programming
  • the North American Indigenous Games on a 4-year cycle starting in fiscal year 2019 to 2020 to ensure the Games are hosted in Canada every 4 years

The Government of Canada, through Sport Canada, will be providing the Toronto 2017 NAIG Host Society with up to $3.5M of funding to support the hosting of the Games through its Hosting Program. Have also committed to providing ongoing funding of $1M to support travel costs for provincial and territory teams.

As this initiative is implemented, the government will look for opportunities to profile excellence among Indigenous youth in sport. Through Budget 2018, the Government of Canada invested $47.5 million over 5 years and $9.5 million per year ongoing, to expand the use of sport for social development in more than 300 Indigenous communities.