facebook app symbol  twitter  linkedin  instagram 1

The 10th edition of the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) is set to gather in Halifax, Nova Scotia next week in the spirit of competition. Over 5,000 athletes representing 756 Indigenous nations will be competing in a wide variety of sports. 

There will be 500 Saskatchewan youth athletes and over 100 coaches and volunteers who are responsible for the management and supervision of their team. Athletes are ages 15 to 19 and come from every corner of Saskatchewan.

Enjoying Native News Coverage?
NNO Logo Make A Monthly Donation Here

NAIG sports include traditional contests including archery, canoe/kayak, and lacrosse, as well as mainstream sports like basketball, volleyball, soccer, and many others. 

“It takes an entire team of people to get everything ready and to do the logistics of it. It’s a really huge undertaking. There are people from a lot of different organizations working together. When we reap the benefits of that, we have been very successful at the games,” Chef de Mission (person in charge of team Saskatchewan), Mike Tanton, told Native News Online. 

Team Saskatchewan NAIG also asked Indigenous actress and model Ashley Callingbull and her husband professional hockey player Wacey Rabbit to be on site in Halifax to give the behind-the-scenes look at the athlete and coach experience. They will be conducting interviews of athletes, parents, coaches and more for Team Saskatchewan’s social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook

Just like the Olympics, the NAIG games happen every four years. The last games were held back in 2017. The games were postponed in 2020 due to COVID-19.

SaskatchewanYouth2 OwenWoytoywich.jpgCourtesy of Owen Woytoywich

“We're seeing a little bit of the effects from it. There's a lot more work that's being needed to be put in on working with the mental health aspect of athletes, versus the physical development, which has been a bit of a change, and a different focus, but one that's necessary,” Tanton said.

Eligibility for the NAIG are ages 13 to 19. Athletes who were not able to play in 2020 and aged out of this year's games are now  involved in coaching and mentorship at this year’s games.

“Those are incredibly large shoes to fill. I think it just speaks to how unified a lot of our indigenous sports system has been in regards to getting everybody together. And I think that speaks a little bit to our successes, as well as to some of the organizers. Past and present,” said Tanton.

More Stories Like This

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Hoskin Addresses Impact of Federal Government Shutdown to Speaker of the House
Native News Weekly (February 25, 2024): D.C. Briefs
South Dakota House State Affairs Committee Advances Bill to Expand and Protect Native American Voting Rights
Historic Native Nations Agribusiness Trade Mission to Take Place in Canada in June

Native Perspective.  Native Voices.  Native News. 

We launched Native News Online because the mainstream media often overlooks news that is important is Native people. We believe that everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities. That's why the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers.  We hope you'll consider making a donation to support our efforts so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount — big or small — gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous-centered journalism. Thank you.

About The Author
Kaili Berg
Author: Kaili BergEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Staff Reporter
Kaili Berg (Aleut) is a member of the Alutiiq/Sugpiaq Nation, and a shareholder of Koniag, Inc. She is a staff reporter for Native News Online and Tribal Business News. Berg, who is based in Wisconsin, previously reported for the Ho-Chunk Nation newspaper, Hocak Worak. She went to school originally for nursing, but changed her major after finding her passion in communications at Western Technical College in Lacrosse, Wisconsin.