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Toronto 2017 NAIG Host Society – More than 1,600 registered volunteers in first month.

Toronto, ON – December 2, 2016 – Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) Host Society was joined by influential Indigenous leaders and Games stakeholders to celebrate the successes of its volunteer recruitment campaign. Among the notable personalities in attendance was renown hockey coach Ted Nolan.

November was the official kick-off to the Toronto 2017 NAIG volunteer recruitment campaign, which featured a number of promotional events across the City of Toronto, and on social media. Volunteer registration numbers climbed to more than 1,600 within the first month of the volunteer campaign launch, reaching more than half of the total number of volunteers required to deliver the 2017 Games.

An exclusive event was held at the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto (NCCT), featuring Nolan, former NHL coach and philanthropist. As a proud supporter of the Toronto 2017 NAIG, Nolan delivered a powerful message focused on the transformative opportunities that the eight-day international sporting and cultural event provides to young Indigenous athletes and their communities. Marcia Trudeau, CEO of Toronto 2017 NAIG, offered a keynote speech to the leaders present, thanking them for their support of the volunteer recruitment efforts for the 2017 Games.

As a former NHL player, coach and philanthropist, Nolan is a celebrated Indigenous leader in the sports community and beyond. Born into a large family on the Garden River First Nation, located in northern Ontario, in a home lacking electricity and plumbing; His experiences represent the crushing barriers that many Indigenous youth face when attempting to access sport. Nolan, who captured the Jack Adams Award for NHL Coach of the Year in1997, promotes pride, strength and a willingness to dream, as cornerstones of success. These values he passed down to his two sons, Brandon and Jordan Nolan, who both reached the NHL as players.

Toronto 2017 NAIG is recruiting more than 2,000 volunteers to assist in delivering a best-in class Games experience, in what will be the 10th occurrence of the NAIG. The Toronto 2017 NAIG Host Society is asking organizational leaders to Join the Movement and assist in welcoming more than 5,000 Indigenous athletes and countless spectators, participating in the Games from July 16-23, 2017. Members of the public interested in volunteering with the 2017 Games can register at www.naig2017.to/en/getinvolved.

Toronto 2017 NAIG Quick Facts

  • The Games provide Indigenous youth, aged 13-19, an opportunity to showcase their athletic abilities through 14 sports and celebrate their heritage through numerous cultural events. 
  • Participating teams represent all 13 provinces and territories of Canada, as well as up to 13 regions from the United States; more than 5000 athletes are expected to participate. 
  • From July 16-23, the Games will host two week-long cultural festivals open to the public,showcasing a variety of Indigenous artists, traditional learning, vendors, food, cultural performances and nightly entertainment. 
  • The Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario, have each committed $3.5 million dollars to help fund the 2017 Games, in recognition of the NAIG as an important agent in promoting Indigenous sport development and recreation in Canada. 

“One of the key priorities of the Toronto 2017 NAIG, is to facilitate the development of an education and awareness program, acknowledging the place of sport and physical activity in the lives of Indigenous people and its relationship to wellness. Volunteers and support for the Games is critical to this priority. We are overwhelmed with the tremendous response we have had from people, communities and organizations. Collaboration and celebration of achievement are an important part of reconciliation, and we thank everyone who signed up to volunteer, and those that support in other ways, for their contributions to this important and exciting initiative.”

-Marcia Trudeau, CEO Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games

“The overwhelming interest in the Games by volunteers is not surprising. Ontario is home to some of the best sports fans in the world who are ready to demonstrate their passion through volunteering. I’m pleased that so many have already signed up to join the ranks and I want to thank them for committing their time and energy to this important initiative. I know that with the help of our volunteers and with the strength of our organizers, the 2017 NAIG will be one of the most exciting sporting events in the country next year.”

-Eleanor McMahon, Ontario Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

“Being involved in the sports industry and within my community of Garden River First Nation, I’ve seen the great impacts that sport has on the lives of our youth and in our communities. Sport and physical activity provides an outlet for building motivation, pride and overall wellness. Culture provides the same outlet – building strength through heritage and celebration of traditions, family and community. I am proud to support the Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games, in building a strong, proud and resilient future generation.”

-Ted Nolan, Former NHL Coach and Philanthropist

Contact Information:
Abidah Shirazi
Manager, Communications
Toronto 2017 NAIG Host Society

About the Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games
From July 16-23, 2017, the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) will welcome more than 5,000 participants, 2,000 volunteers and countless spectators from across North America. Sport and cultural venues include Humber College, McMaster University, York University, University of Toronto Scarborough, City of Toronto facilities, City of Hamilton venues, and venues within Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. A total of 14 sports will be offered for competition during the event, in addition to week-long cultural festivals, featuring programming such as traditional teachings, Indigenous artists, vendors and cultural performers. For more information, visit www.naig2017.to.