March 8, 2018

The Aboriginal Sport and Wellness Council of Ontario (ASWCO) - New leadership position to drive next era of Indigenous sport in Ontario.

Mississauga, ON – March 8, 2018 – The Aboriginal Sport and Wellness Council of Ontario (ASWCO) announced Wednesday the appointment of Dale Tamara Plett as its Director of Engagement, Operations and Policy. This newly created leadership position will support ASWCO’s broad mandate of delivering sport and wellness programming to Indigenous Peoples and communities across the province of Ontario.

Plett, a proud Anishnabe Kwe Indigenous woman from the Fish Clan, and a registered band member of Chippewas of Rama First Nation, was selected for the position, after a nationwide search of Indigenous sport leaders. No stranger to the field, Plett, a sport enthusiast, avid volunteer, and community builder, has dedicated much of her professional and personal time to the development of Indigenous sport opportunities in the province of Ontario.

As a former Recreation Manager for Rama First Nation, Assistant Chef D ’Mission for Aboriginal Team Ontario in 2017 and ASWCO board member, Plett’s experience in developing programs and initiatives to support Indigenous sport participation and wellness, is quite extensive.

Taking her passion and unique skill set to a national level, Plett was recently chosen to serve on the Board of Directors for the Aboriginal Sport Circle, a federally funded national sport body, which oversees Indigenous sport initiatives across Canada. More than her professional experience, it’s her own set of values and priorities that make Plett the ideal candidate to lead ASWCO’s vision forward, in what is truly a new era of Indigenous sport in Ontario.

“We are so grateful to have Dale join our leadership team during this exciting chapter of the organization,” said Marc Laliberte, President, Aboriginal Sport and Wellness Council of Ontario. “She brings to our staff a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities that face the Indigenous sport and wellness environment, and has a strong network that will help unite the sport family through cultural respect and passion.”

As common practice with many new executives, Plett has identified her top three priorities and a 100-day game plan which includes:

1. An emphasis on community engagement through bridge building, strengthening existing relationships, and reaching out to communities ASWCO currently underserves;

2. The improvement of administrative efficiencies, and

3. The creation of a strong and progressive foundation of governance, to support a new chapter in ASWCO’s journey.

“I deeply desire to make a difference, especially for our youth across Ontario – First Nations, Inuit and Métis. The power sport and culture have to transform lives is like nothing else and to be a part of this - even in a small way - makes me jump out of bed in the morning, gets me talking really fast and often brings happy tears to my eyes. It's a gift I do not take for granted. I want my children and their peers to have every opportunity their grandparents and ancestors did not have,” says Plett.

ASWCO has made impressive progress over the past three years serving as the lead Indigenous organization delivering the landmark Sport Pathways for Ontario Native Wellness initiative, with support from the Government of Ontario. Building on the tremendous success and legacy of hosting the 2016 Ontario Aboriginal Summer Games and the Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG), ASWCO has developed a number of strategies to increase sport opportunity, enhance community capacity and support Indigenous wellness across the Province. As a direct legacy of the Toronto 2017 NAIG, ASWCO will be hosting the inaugural Masters Indigenous Games this coming July in the city of Toronto and has submitted an official bid to host the 2020 NAIG in partnership with the City of Ottawa and the Algonquin’s of Pikwakanagan First Nation.

ASWCO, an organization that prioritizes strategy development, program implementation, and sustainability, keeps its head above the politics and focuses on what’s really important – the youth and their communities. Understanding the vast diversity of needs, cultures and environments across Ontario, ASWCO has grown into an effective provincial body, with regional delivery systems, tailored programming, a culturally based framework, competitive and recreational sport opportunities, and leadership development for Indigenous youth and communities. In a time of reconciliation, ASWCO exemplifies the true meaning and spirit of ‘Team 88’ and looks forward to a new era in Indigenous sport, where Indigenous youth can not only dream, but can achieve more and reach heights never seen before.

ASWCO Quick Facts:

The Aboriginal Sport and Wellness Council of Ontario (ASWCO) is the official Provincial/Territorial Aboriginal Sporting Body (P/TASB) for Ontario and serves all 133 First Nations, in addition to Inuit and Métis Peoples, living both on and off reserve, in urban and rural settings.

  • A legacy of Toronto 2017 NAIG, ASWCO will be hosting the inaugural Masters Indigenous Games (MIG), from July 12-15 in Toronto. The MIG 2018 will feature both contemporary and traditional sports, a cultural village and Pow Wow, with more than 2000 Indigenous participants expected from around the world. Learn more at

  • ASWCO operates more than 40 events on an annual basis, including multi-sport and leadership camps, the Ontario Native Basketball Invitational, the Ontario Native Volleyball Invitational, sport clinics, try-outs for Aboriginal Team Ontario, conferences, workshops and retreats.

  • ASWCO has developed a number of strategies to ensure its providing community relevant programming, including: a Far North Strategy, Urban Indigenous Strategy, Youth Leadership and Mental Health Strategy and a High Performance Strategy.

  • ASWCO hosted the Ontario Aboriginal Summer Games in 2016, with the next scheduled Games to take place in 2019.

  • Net proceeds from Toronto 2017 NAIG were directed to a Legacy Fund, aimed at

  • increasing sport and wellness programming, services, and equipment to Indigenous youth and communities, across the province of Ontario.

  • Team 88 is a legacy campaign developed by the Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games Host Society, to create a national dialogue around reconciliation through the inspirational power of sport.

ASWCO honours the traditional lands and homelands of all Indigenous Peoples and communities across the province of Ontario, including First Nations, Inuit and Métis living both on and off reserve, in rural and urban communities.

Contact Information:
Abidah Shirazi
Senior Advisor, Communications and Media Relations; 416-825-3348