More sport opportunities for Indigenous youth, women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people
VICTORIA, August 29, 2022
The Government of Canada is committed to supporting Indigenous communities across the country in their efforts to be strong and healthy. The transformative power of sport plays an essential role in achieving this goal.
Adam van Koeverden, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and to the Minister of Sport, announced a $2.5 million investment to give Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people more opportunities to reap the benefits of sport and physical activity. He made the announcement on behalf of the Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec.
In 2022 and 2023, close to 285 communities and 9,000 Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people will be able to benefit from this $2.5-million investment. Ten provincial/territorial Indigenous sport bodies will carry out these projects that respond to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) Calls for Justice #3.1 and #7.3 by supporting the health and wellness of Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people. Funded projects will focus on Indigenous-led prevention initiatives in the areas of health and community awareness, using sport as a tool for social development.
The activities and social outcomes for each project were defined and proposed by Indigenous communities, in collaboration with Indigenous women’s organizations, to ensure they meet their specific needs. This initiative is also aimed at allowing Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people to reconnect with their culture and traditional activities.
This funding comes from the Sport for Social Development in Indigenous Communities component of the Sport Support Program. More information can be found in the backgrounder, which includes a detailed list of the 2022–23 recipients.
Indigenous youth and sport funding
The Parliamentary Secretary also announced renewed funding for Indigenous youth and sport of $20 million over five years, starting in 2022–23. This funding will continue to support Indigenous sport leadership, including the Aboriginal Sport Circle. It will also support the Indigenous youth in sport supplement of the bilateral provincial and territorial government agreements, which are aimed at increasing culturally relevant sport programming for Indigenous children and youth and strengthening Indigenous leadership capacity of the provincial/territorial Aboriginal sport bodies. Further details will be provided in the coming months.
“This funding will allow Indigenous youth, women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people to take part in sport activities that will meet their needs and help them reach their full potential. Sport is a powerful tool for engagement and social change. That is why our government is proud to support an initiative that empowers Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people within their communities.”
—The Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
“The Government of Canada is fully committed to supporting Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people in their efforts to be strong and healthy through sport. This funding stream of the Sport for Social Development in Indigenous Communities program will help create innovative community-led projects that will bring greater awareness to the important needs of Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people across the country. Today’s announcement is another important step towards our government’s commitment to renew its relationship with Indigenous Peoples.”
—Adam van Koeverden, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and to the Minister of Sport
“The Aboriginal Sport Circle is encouraged by and fully supportive of the introduction of the Sport for Social Development in Indigenous Communities Stream Three funding. Intended for Indigenous-led projects that directly focus on and support the improved mental and physical health of Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people, this funding is a critical part of the much-needed response to Indigenous calls for action and justice.
—Matt Tapper, Chief Executive Officer, Aboriginal Sport Circle
“The Aboriginal Sport Circle is extremely pleased to hear that Indigenous youth and sport funding has been renewed for another five years. The continuation of this funding will support existing and stimulate new Indigenous-led, Indigenous-developed and Indigenous-delivered sport and physical activity programming that will significantly improve the health, well-being and futures of thousands of Indigenous youth from coast to coast to coast.”
—Rob Newman, President, Aboriginal Sport Circle
“This is an important day for all of our Indigenous Peoples. The reconciliation and strength for Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ peoples through sport funding is a strong indication of Sport Canada’s commitment to support provincial-territorial Aboriginal sport bodies across the country in our work to create safe, welcoming and inclusive environments to meaningfully engage women, girls, and two spirit community members in physical activity opportunities. There is so much critical work to be done to address the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. This new funding stream of the SSDIC program will help us to take an important step towards helping our people reclaim their sense of health, wellness, safety and wholeness.”
—Corinne McKay, President, Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation Council
The Sport for Social Development in Indigenous Communities (SSDIC) component of the Sport Support Program focuses on supporting improved health, education and employability and the reduction of at-risk behaviour, which is consistent with the priorities of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action (#7, #19, and #38). It also responds to the National Inquiry into MMIWG’s Calls for Justice (#3.1 and #7.3) by supporting physical and mental health, suicide prevention, human trafficking awareness and prevention, safe and healthy relationships and sexual positivity.
The SSDIC component of the Sport Support Program has three funding streams.
Stream One: Funding dedicated to the 13 Provincial/Territorial Aboriginal Sport Bodies (PTASBs), which deliver sport for social development projects, and to the Aboriginal Sport Circle (ASC), which provides leadership and support to the PTASBs for their delivery of the SSDIC programming.
Stream Two: Funding dedicated to Indigenous governments, communities and organizations, including delivery organizations working in collaboration with Indigenous communities to deliver sport for social development projects in Indigenous communities in Canada.
Stream Three: Funding to ensure that Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people have access to meaningful sports activities through the SSDIC component.
From 2021 to 2023, close to 900 communities and 110,000 Indigenous youth are expected to benefit from nearly $20.3 million in funding through Streams One, Two, and Three of the SSDIC component. The next call for applications is anticipated for the winter of 2022 for support over the next two years.
Budget 2017 invested $18.9 million over five years to support Indigenous sport leadership and culturally relevant sport programming, starting in 2017-2018, with ongoing funding of $5.5 million on a four-year cycle afterward. This investment supported the Aboriginal Sport Circle in strengthening Indigenous sport leadership and helped the provinces and territories in delivering culturally relevant Indigenous sport programming, as well as stable, ongoing funding to host the North American Indigenous Games.
In August 2022, the Government of Canada announced $20 million in renewed funding over five years for Indigenous youth and sport, starting in 2022–23. This funding will continue to support Indigenous sport leadership, including the Aboriginal Sport Circle. It will also support the Indigenous youth in sport supplement of the provincial/territorial government agreements to increase culturally relevant sport programming for Indigenous children and youth.
- Sport for Social Development in Indigenous Communities – Sport Support Program
- Sport Canada
- Aboriginal Sport Circle
- Provincial/territorial Indigenous sport contacts
- Investing in the health and well-being of Indigenous youth through the power of sport
- Canada’s first Federal 2SLGBTQI+ Action Plan… Building our future, with pride
For more information (media only), please contact:
Office of the Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
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