The Government of Canada Invests to Expand Sport and Physical Activity Programming in Indigenous Communities

News release

TORONTO, May 31, 2019

The Government of Canada is committed to building stronger and healthier Indigenous communities in Canada. The transformative power of sport plays an important role in achieving this goal. It builds self-esteem and leadership skills. It allows our children and youth to grow and thrive—physically, emotionally and socially.

Today, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, announced investments of $9.5 million per year starting 2019–2020, of which $8.9 million will be delivered via two streams to expand sport and physical activity programming in more than 300 Indigenous communities across Canada.

The Indigenous Sport Initiative has four main objectives: to improve health, education and employability of Indigenous persons in Canada, and to reduce at-risk behaviour.

Through Stream 1, $5.3 million will be made available annually to the 13 Provincial/Territorial Aboriginal Sport Bodies (P/TASBs) and the Aboriginal Sport Circle for the development of sport and physical activity community projects. These sport activities will help close the social-economic gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada.

For Stream 2, $3.6 million will be made available annually to Indigenous governments, communities and organizations, including delivery organizations working in collaboration with Indigenous communities for projects that promote sport and physical activity in Indigenous communities.

Participating in physical activity and sport has many benefits, including strengthening the confidence of youth, improving school attendance, promoting healthy lifestyles, and more.


“Sport builds self-esteem, cultivates leadership skills, and keeps people healthy. The Indigenous Sport Initiative will give more Indigenous people the opportunity to participate in sport and physical activity and build stronger, healthier communities for all.”

—The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport

“This is a historic funding announcement for Indigenous people throughout the country. For nearly 25 years, our Provincial and Territorial Aboriginal Sport Bodies have been using sport and physical activities to inspire youth and help build healthy vibrant communities—and never have we seen an investment like this. The promise that this funding holds for them to achieve their visions for sport as a tool for social development is extraordinary and couldn’t have come at a better time, as Indigenous communities everywhere awaken to the possibility of using sports to address their social and economic needs. The youth hold the future in their hands, and we believe that a strong Indigenous sport and physical activity delivery system, which this funding will support, is the foundation for their growth and ours.”

—Janice Forsyth, President, Aboriginal Sport Circle

Quick facts

  • The Indigenous Sport Initiative is addressing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action #7, #19 and #38.

  • P/TASBs have until July 5, 2019 to submit their project proposals for Stream 1 funding.

  • Indigenous governments, communities and organizations and other delivery organizations have until July 19, 2019 to submit their project proposals for Stream 2 funding.

  • The Government of Canada is the single largest contributor to sport in this country and supports sport participation and excellence through federal programs and policies.

Associated links


For more information (media only), please contact:

Daniele Medlej
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Science and Sport

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

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