Statement by Ministers St-Onge, Petitpas Taylor, Hajdu and Miller and Member of Parliament Battiste on the opening of the 2023 North American Indigenous Games


Kjipuktuk (Halifax), July 16, 2023

Today, the Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, and Jaime Battiste, Member of Parliament (Sydney-Victoria), issued the following statement:

“Today marks the official opening of the highly anticipated 2023 North American Indigenous Games, one of the largest sporting and cultural gatherings of Indigenous Peoples from across North America. With 5,000 athletes and 756 nations participating from across Canada and the United States, these games showcase the diversity of Indigenous sport and culture.

Taking place in Mi’kma’ki, the traditional and ancestral territory of the Mi’kmaq people, the games play a vital role in the development of young Indigenous athletes, giving them valuable training and competition experience as well as opportunities to showcase their athletic abilities while celebrating their heritage.

As the largest investor in Canadian sport, the Government of Canada is proud to support these games as well as the athletes, coaches and officials taking part. The games are a premier showcase for the incredible talents of Indigenous athletes as well as healthy lifestyles, positive self image and Indigenous role models.

The government's support for this competition is a direct response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Call to Action 88. This commitment aims to promote the participation of Indigenous Peoples in sports, ensuring long-term development and growth as well as continued support for these games.

Over the next week, let’s embrace this moment and celebrate Indigenous sport, culture and unity. Together, we can create a lasting legacy of empowerment, reconciliation and inspiration that will resonate for generations to come.

Best of luck to all the athletes. Enjoy the games and your time in the beautiful host Mi’kma’ki region.”


For more information (media only), please contact:

Ariane Joazard-Bélizaire
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

Lauren Sinclair
Director of Communications
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

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