SIX MONTH COUNTDOWN TO THE INAUGURAL MASTERS INDIGENOUS GAMES

A legacy of the Toronto 2017 NAIG, the Games fill critical gap for Indigenous adults.

Toronto, Ontario – January 12, 2018

On the heels of a successful North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) and in continuation with the theme of sport and physical activity for life, the Aboriginal Sport and Wellness Council of Ontario is excited to announce the launch of the Masters Indigenous Games (MIG), scheduled to commence in a short six months. The inaugural Games will take place this coming July from the 12-15 and provide an opportunity for Indigenous adults from around the world, to engage in sport competition with their peers. The Masters Indigenous Games are expected to take place every two years, in communities and municipalities across the province of Ontario, and like the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG), will celebrate both sport achievement and cultural heritage.

The Masters Indigenous Games were founded to meet the growing need for competitive sport for the aging population. The Games encourage mature individuals to be active, with the awareness that competitive sport can continue throughout life, contributing to increased health and wellness. As the official Provincial/Territorial Aboriginal Sporting Body (P/TASB) for Ontario, ASWCO’s experience in developing sport and recreation programs for Indigenous youth, including the management of Aboriginal Team Ontario and its participation in the North American Indigenous Games and the Ontario Aboriginal Summer Games, led them to identify the need for comparable adult programming.

The Masters Indigenous Games are a direct legacy of the successful Toronto 2017 NAIG which took place in the Greater Toronto Area last July. The Masters Indigenous Games provide a next step, in the sport development pathway, for Indigenous athletes who are no longer eligible to compete at the NAIG due to age limitations. For Indigenous adults, the MIG is an opportunity to get physically active, engage with community and participate in competitions, with a focus on culture and a celebration of Indigenous wellness. And like the NAIG, the Masters Indigenous Games will shine the spotlight on the achievements of Indigenous athletes, leaders, and every day people, making a difference in their own lives and the lives of others, through a commitment to wellness.

With over 2000 participants, 400 volunteers, various contemporary (athletics, badminton, basketball, canoe, golf, hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball and volleyball) and traditional sports (archery, standing kick, tug of war and tepee building), a cultural festival showcasing Indigenous artists, performers, storytellers and vendors, and a closing competition Powwow planned, the Masters Indigenous Games 2018 are expected to be the sporting and cultural event of the summer.

Athletes have the option to register individually or as a team, depending on the sport. In addition to sports, the Games will feature numerous activities including traditional cooking, go carting, and other games.
The 2018 MIG are scheduled to take place from July 12-15, 2018, with the majority of events taking place at Downsview Park located in Toronto, Ontario. For more information, visit www.mastersindigenousgames.ca.

“The Masters Indigenous Games (MIG) build on the legacy of the North American Indigenous Games movement, by providing a platform for the celebration of Indigenous sport achievement and cultural heritage. Indigenous Peoples need more opportunities to collectively showcase their abilities and accomplishments, and as well, contribute to their own wellness. Events like the MIG are about more than just sports, winning and losing, they are about the game of life, reminding us to live and play well. Sport brings us together in unity and heals us through camaraderie.”
-Marc Laliberte, President, Aboriginal Sport and Wellness Council of Ontario (ASWCO)

Acknowledgement The Masters Indigenous Games 2018 honours the traditional lands and homelands of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, as the original inhabitants of the City of Toronto. The Masters Indigenous Games 2018 also acknowledges all Indigenous Peoples and communities across the province of Ontario, including First Nations, Inuit and Metis, living both on and off reserve, in rural and urban communities.

Contact Information:
Abidah Shirazi
Manager, Communications and Media Relations
Mastersindigenousgames@aswco.ca
416-825-3348