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Sharing tips from our Sport & Healthy Living Teams

How you can stay healthy and keep active from home!

What’s in this issue:

  • Meet Our Team! – Daniel & Alissa 
  • NAIG at Home – Virtual Events
  • FitNation: Resistance Band Workout with Amanda de Faye
  • Mental Wellness: Moving Forward – Recorded Webinar Series
  • Physical Distancing Success with Vermillion Forks Métis Association
  • Premier’s Awards Provincial Recipients Announced
  • Sport for Life Society’s Stepping Stones to Indigenous Participation
  • National Coaching Awards – Nomination Deadline July 26
  • Recipe of the Month – Nettle Seaweed Flavour Shaker
  • Tears to Hope Relay

Meet Our Team! Daniel & Alissa

Daniel Young-Mercer – Ayeem Ganaaw, Provincial Coordinator, Physical Activity, Training & Development

What I do at I·SPARC: I will be entering my fifth year with I·SPARC’s Healthy Living department, where I focus on the training and development of community champions selected to be trained FitNation Leaders. I love the work that I do because it allows me to learn more about each community that experiences the FitNation program. Before my time with I·SPARC, I was also a FitNation Leader running fitness sessions for the Haisla Nation. Having this experience allowed me to create space for people to accomplish their physical activity goals, while at the same time creating life-long friendships with program participants which made me feel more connected with the community I worked in. Having this front-line experience really shows me how our programs at I·SPARC can help create life-changing success stories in all areas of wellness for both trained leaders and participants. I am also very lucky to be working as part of the I·SPARC Healthy Living team where I am able to support my coworkers in their programs such as Indigenous RunWalk, Honour Your Health Challenge, HealthBeat, and Warriors of Wellness.

Fun fact: One day I created a work Facebook account called Rec Centre Dan (RCD) which I started using while working for the Haisla Recreation Centre. After that, Rec Centre Dan (RCD) grew into a nickname that I am still called today even when I’m visiting back home.

Alissa Assu SGalts’id t’aaGun, 
Provincial Coordinator,
Performance Sport

What I do at I·SPARC:  I will be entering my sixth year with I·SPARC’s Performance Sport team! I started as a program assistant, supporting the Team BC Hockey program. Now I am supporting 13 sport divisions! Within Performance Sport, you never know where you’ll find me. Depending on the time of year, I could be traveling across the province delivering one of the 13 BC Indigenous Athlete Development Camps or BC Indigenous Provincial Championships, cheering on Team BC athletes at the annual National Aboriginal Hockey Championships or connecting with our athletes at Gathering our Voices. Come follow my journey on  the Performance Sport’s Instagram account (isparcteambc)! It is an honour being a part of the I·SPARC family, I have the opportunity to visit new territories, support community champions hosting camps, witness Elders welcoming us as our events begin, and love hearing Team BC athletes share their success stories with us. Did you know a Team BC athlete received a full-ride scholarship from Harvard University to play the sport she loved- how amazing!

Fun Fact: I am a  pin collector! For me, it reflects all the places I have traveled to and sport competitions I get to witness. It started when I was an athlete representing Team BC at the 2008 Cowichan North American Indigenous Games. Also, you never know when you’re catching me making my next pun; I am just a soccer for puns!

Although the 2020 NAIG is postponed until next year, the Host Society will have a week-long virtual event called #NAIGatHOME! Visit their facebook page to stay connected and find out about all the great activities including virtual competitions, activities, and panel discussions. Everyone is invited to participate, no formal registration required unless you are participating in their Virtual Run/Walk Challenge. #NAIGatHOME

Visit 2020 NAIG


Here’s the final workout in the FitNation Home Workout Series 2 – Resistance Band Workout with Amanda de Faye! You’ll need a resistance band, some water, and a yoga mat (or carpet). FitNation – Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere!

Mental Wellness: Moving Forward – Recorded Webinar Series 

I·SPARC is excited to share this Mental Wellness: Moving Forward recorded webinar series featuring guest speaker Dr. Lisa Gunderson.

The 3-part webinar series shines a light on uncertainties and stresses during this time of COVID-19 and provides positive mental wellness strategies surrounding Our New Future, Parenting, and Worry-Anxiety.

You can watch all three webinars on our YouTube channel.

Mental Wellness Series

Physical Distancing Success with Vermillion Forks Métis Association

June is an exciting time for our Healthy Living team as community programs wrap-up, providing an opportunity to share leader success stories. This year has been full of change and has required all of us to adapt to a temporary ‘new normal’. In the face of unprecedented uncertainty, we have seen unbelievable creativity and determination from our Healthy Living Leaders.

Vermillion Forks Métis Association’s “Walk a Mile in Their Moccasins” program achieved new goals they hadn’t dreamed were possible!

The original goal for their program was to host weekly walking sessions, learning about wildlife and nature along the way. During their group walks they planned to collectively record their steps to make the virtual migration trip from their ancestor’s homeland in Manitoba to the BC Coast. When COVID-19 threw a wrench in these in-person plans, Healthy Living Leader Trudi Turner adapted her program to a virtual walk and participants individually recorded their steps.

Their participation soared and eventually the group sent out a provincial challenge to other Métis Communities. The Grand Forks Boundary Métis answered the call, joining in for the return trip and meeting in the middle for a cyber celebration! Trudi says that as summer gets in full swing they plan to “re-sole their moccasins for another virtual journey very soon.”
Our communities are resilient and when faced with a challenge our healthy living champions know no limits in providing opportunities for their community members to stay active.Thank you Vermillion Forks Métis Association and Grand Forks Boundary Métis!

Announcing Provincial Recipients of the Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport

I·SPARC, in partnership with the Province of BC, announced the selection of 10 outstanding Indigenous athletes for the 2019 Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport. The provincial ceremony was scheduled to take place in March during the Gathering Our Voices opening ceremony in Kamloops, however, plans were abruptly put on hold due to the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

From the 36 regional recipients selected last fall, a total of 10 athletes have been selected to receive the provincial award, representing the diversity across I·SPARC’s six regions:

Read Full Story

Stepping Stones to Indigenous Sport and Physical Activity Participation E-Learning Course

This E-Learning Course has been designed for coaches and sport leaders with the purpose to:

  • Increase knowledge of the stages of the Indigenous Long-Term Participant Development Pathway (ILTPD)
  • Help understand the needs of Indigenous participants and athletes
  • Enhance your ability to run developmentally and holistically appropriate programs

When you have completed the entire course and passed each learning assessment, you will be able to download/print a Certificate of Completion and for coaches maintaining their certification, obtain NCCP professional development points towards it. 

At a 30% discount, price is now $17.45. 


Nominate a Coach!

The Aboriginal Sport Circle is committed to supporting sport that fosters the development of the whole individual. The National Indigenous Coaching Awards are an embodiment of this philosophy. In addition to their coaching achievements, recipients of this Award will have demonstrated a personal commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and fair play while acting as positive role models. Recipients exemplify a commitment to a holistic lifestyle – one which embraces personal physical, mental, cultural and spiritual capacities.

Visit the Awards & Recognition site for more information

Nomination Form Download

Recipe of the Month
Nettle Seaweed Flavour Shaker

Summer Solstice marked the end of the growing season for seaweed on the west coast. June is prime time to get your seaweed harvesting in! Here’s one of our Healthy Living team’s favourite ways to enjoy it.
Seaweed drying on a rack

  • 1/4 cup powdered nettles 
  • 1/8 cup powdered nori or bull kelp
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds 

Toast sesame seeds over medium heat in a dry pan. They will pop, brown, and when done, will have a toasted aroma and deep golden appearance. Grind in a coffee grinder or blender.  Add nettle and nori powder (this can also be ground in a coffee grinder). Mix all ingredients and store in a glass jar in the refrigerator. This condiment can be sprinkled on rice, sautés, or soups. Try swapping the sesame seeds for nutritional yeast for an amazing popcorn topper! 

Photo courtesy Robynne Edgar, Director of Healthy Living

Tears to Hope Relay 

In June, the Healthy Living Team supported the 2nd annual Tears to Hope Relay supported by 200 participants in a virtual relay run! Each participant ran a 10k leg to increase awareness and honour the Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls along the Highway of Tears. The collective distance added up to over 500km of running and finished virtually in Hope, BC.

Check out the photos and find out more information about the relay at Many thanks to those who ran their hearts out and Indigenous RunWalk Leaders Birgitte Bartlett and Loran Brown who worked hard to pull this event together with a vision of hope for a better future.
This newsletter comes to you from I·SPARC.
Manager, Premier’s Awards & Communications
Felicia Greekas
P:  250.940.4909