Sports and Reconciliation

Call to Action

Call to Action # 87National stories of Indigenous athletes in history
Call to Action # 88Long-tern Indigenous athlete development and growth
Call to Action # 89Amend Physical Activity & Sport Act for reconciliation
Call to Action # 90National sports policies and programs are inclusive
Call to Action # 91International Sporting events & Indigenous protocols

Current and Ongoing Problems

Failure of Birmingham, Alabama organizing committee to invite the Iroquois National men’s lacrosse team to world lacrosse games

July 24, 2020: APTN News – A petition with more than 12,000 signatures on it is circulating on social media asking eight countries –

– Australia, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Japan, United States, Czech Republic, Israel and New Zealand – to withdraw from the 2022 world lacrosse games scheduled for Birmingham, Alabama in 2022 after the Iroquois Nationals were left out of the tournament. “The Iroquois Nationals men finished 3rd and are full members, like other countries included. But they have not received an invite despite placing third. Teams ranked lower have been selected instead.” “The World Games, which is governed by the International World Games Association (IWGA), follows the rules of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) regarding eligibility.

The six-nation confederacy that makes up the Haudenosaunee Nation is sovereign. The team travels with Haudenosaunee passports and competed as a nation member of World Lacrosse at the FIL World Lacrosse Championship in Netanya, Israel in 2018.

There, Canada brought home a silver medal after defeat by the United States.

 “The colonizers don’t want Indigenous people to be native. Want us to be Canadian/American and history have proven that. Residential schools, blood quantum’s, passports, etc. they don’t want to acknowledge us for who we are. And it’s indigenous land AGAIN. Lyle Thompson, is an Onondaga lacrosse player and former two-time Tewaaraton Award winner who was named Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year in Major League Lacrosse last year.

Sept. 19, 2020: Toronto Star – The Iroquois Nationals have been invited to the next World Games in Birmingham after widespread opposition to the decision to deny them an opportunity to compete.  The team travels under their own Haudenosaunee Confederacy passports, not Canada or the United States. The eighth-seeded team, Ireland, graciously withdrew to open up a spot for the Iroquois team

Selecting a non-Indigenous organization to be the prime delivery organization for Indigenous sports programming

The federal government selected “Right to Play” a non-indigenous led partner to be the prime delivery organization for indigenous sports programming in communities across Canada when an indigenous led alternative already exists: The Aboriginal Sports Circle (ASC) is Canada’s national voice for Aboriginal sport, which brings together the interests of First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples.

Established in 1995, the ASC was created through a national consensus-building process, in response to the need for more accessible and equitable sport and recreation opportunities for Aboriginal peoples. This mandate has expanded to include physical activity. The ASC is a collective of Provincial/Territorial Aboriginal Sport Bodies. Each of them carries the mandate to represent the grassroots sport and recreation interests of the Aboriginal peoples of their regions. It is their voice that guides the direction of the ASC and establishes its national priorities. The ASC partners with mainstream sport organizations to bring expertise in athlete and coaching development to the Aboriginal Communities. 

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