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Indigenous Sport & Wellness Ontario (ISWO) – ISWO is seeking local Thunder Bay area volunteers to support the fifth edition of the Ontario Native Basketball Invitational (ONBI).

Mississauga, Ontario – March 21, 2019 – Indigenous Sport & Wellness Ontario (ISWO), the officially designated Provincial/Territorial Aboriginal Sport Body (P/TASB), announced Thursday the launch of its volunteer recruitment campaign for the 2019 Ontario Native Basketball Invitational (ONBI), set to take place from April 18-21, in Thunder Bay, over the Easter long-weekend.

To ensure the four-day event, expected to attract more than 250 youth participants, is a success, ISWO is seeking the helping hearts and hands of volunteers in the Thunder Bay region. A variety of volunteer roles are available in areas including: sport delivery, venue management, competition set-up, registration and accreditation, and hospitality. Volunteers will receive an information and training package prior to the event and a certificate recognizing their contributions from ISWO. ISWO is also able to verify volunteer hours for educational and community service requirements. Volunteers must be 16 years of age and older with access to transportation; although not required, a recent vulnerable sector check and experience working with Indigenous youth and organizations, are valuable assets. Volunteering for the 2019 ONBI is an opportunity for local residents to show their support for the Indigenous community in Thunder Bay, connect with Indigenous youth and their families, and learn more about Indigenous cultures and protocols.

Volunteers are the backbone of any great event. Sport is built on the contributions of volunteers and communities, who support athlete participation, opportunity and development through a variety of roles,” says Marc Laliberte, President of Indigenous Sport & Wellness Ontario. “Sport has the power to change lives, so the work of volunteers in supporting these events, is really monumental. It couldn’t happen without them and I think the 2019 ONBI will be a great event to bring communities together in Thunder Bay and host a welcoming and safe tournament for the youth.”

The Ontario Native Basketball Invitational (ONBI), now in its fifth year, brings together teams from across Ontario and Canada to compete in a friendly, yet competitive invitational style tournament. Indigenous youth of high school age (between the ages of 14-18) travel with their teams and family members to compete and have fun. With a number of cultural and leadership activities offered throughout the entire tournament, ONBI builds confidence, creates friendships and strengthens communities, while creating opportunities for Indigenous youth to participate in competitive sport with their peers. The ONBI is also an identifier for participation in the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG).

ISWO is committed to creating a safe and welcoming atmosphere, in support of these young athletes, as they showcase their athletic achievements and Indigenous heritage – and volunteers will be central to accomplishing this. For more information and to register, visit:; volunteer registration deadline is April 4, 2019.

Indigenous Sport & Wellness Ontario (ISWO) Quick Facts:

  • ISWO is the designated Provincial/Territorial Aboriginal Sport Body for the province of Ontario, primarily funded through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.
  • ISWO serves all Indigenous Peoples and communities across the province of Ontario, including First Nations, Inuit and Métis, living on and off-reserve, in rural and urban settings, encompassing more than 350,000 Indigenous Peoples.
  • ISWO promotes and creates opportunities for participation in sport and cultural activities that promote wellness and positive lifestyles for Indigenous Peoples across Ontario.
  • ISWO provides opportunities for physical literacy and competitive sport skill development and training by creating sport development pathways, designed specifically for Indigenous youth.
  • ISWO is recognized by the Aboriginal Sport Circle and the North American Indigenous Games Council, and is the designated sport body for the development, selection and management of Team Ontario, which participates in the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships (NAHC) and North American Indigenous Games (NAIG).

For more information about ISWO, visit the official ISWO website at

ISWO 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:
Indigenous Sport & Wellness Ontario (ISWO)
Kylie Thompson, Communications and Media Coordinator
City of Thunder Bay
Kelly Robertson, General Manager – Community Services