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BC Games Society Celebrates National Aboriginal Day

Author: BC Games Society/Friday, June 21, 2019/Categories: Front Page, 2019 News, Sport System

BC Games Society Celebrates National Aboriginal Day

National Aboriginal Day is a great day for the BC Games Society to reflect on the impact we’ve made to increase Indigenous participation in sport over the past few Games cycles.

For the 2018 BC Winter and BC Summer Games the BC Games Society worked with the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Council (ISPARC) to identify four sports to be part of an initiative to provide increased opportunities for Indigenous (i.e. First Nations, Métis, Inuit) participants in the Games.

As a pilot project, sports were selected based on traditional Indigenous participation and existing partnerships between ISPARC and Provincial Sport Organizations.  The sports included in the 2018 BC Summer Games were basketball, canoe/kayak, and lacrosse-box and archery was included in the BC Winter Games.

Indigenous participation numbers for both the summer and winter Games in 2018 were greatly increased due to this pilot project.  With enhanced communication about the BC Games with ISPARC and their members, more Indigenous athletes are participating in the Games outside of this program.

For the 2020 BC Winter Games in Fort St. John, archery has come back as a partner in this program and we are looking at another two sports as well.

ISPARC was an integral partner in the training of Team BC mission staff for the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer. Tara Nault, Special Advisor to ISPARC, led a two hour Indigenous Cultural Awareness workshop that was well received by the team.

In 2017, the BC Games Society joined with ISPARC in commissioning Indigenous artist, Jamin Zurosky, to design a Team BC Unite shirt for both the athletes attending the Canada Summer Games and the North American Indigenous Games. In 2019, we worked with Jamin, again, to design a special Team BC totem pin and scarf. Both items were highly sought after items at the Games.

We will continue to work with ISPARC and other partners to find ways to increase inclusion in our Games and the Team BC program through 2020 and beyond.


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