Investing in the health and well-being of Indigenous youth through the power of sport
TORONTO, April 19, 2017
Sport has the power to unite Indigenous youth, helping to improve health, education and economic outcomes for all involved.
Today, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, and the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, announced the Government of Canada’s Budget 2017 commitment to provide $18.9 million over five years, and ongoing funding of $5.5 million every four years thereafter, to support Indigenous youth through sport.
This new investment will increase support for culturally relevant sport programming for Indigenous youth and children at the community level. This also includes stable and ongoing funding for the North American Indigenous Games, in support of the Government of Canada’s commitment to fully address the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
With just 88 days to go before the Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games, this investment recognizes that sport is a powerful force to support the health and well-being of Indigenous youth, strengthen Indigenous identity and make meaningful progress towards reconciliation.
“As a former athlete, I know firsthand how sport can change lives, and I believe that we can all harness its power to help Indigenous youth—and their communities—flourish and succeed. Today we mark an important step in our collective efforts to build stronger Indigenous sport programming that offers benefits and opportunities for youth across Canada.”
— The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities
“When Indigenous youth engage in sports activities that reflect their culture, they acquire the secure personal cultural identity and resilience that lead to better health, education and economic outcomes. It’s why the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission includes a Call to Action to support Indigenous athletes, and it’s why our government is proud to announce this new initiative."
— The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs
The Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games take place from July 16 to 23. The Games represent one of the largest sporting and cultural gatherings of Indigenous peoples from across North America, with over 5,000 Indigenous youth (ages 13–19) and 2,000 volunteers expected to participate.
Participating are over 5,000 athletes and teams representing all 13 provinces and territories of Canada, as well as 13 regions from the United States.
Call to Action #88 from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission states, “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.”
For more information (media only), please contact:
Office of the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs
Public Affairs Unit
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
Office of the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities
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