LACROSSE ‘THE MEDICINE GAME’ TO BE SHOWCASED AMONG 14 SPORT CATEGORIES AT TORONTO 2017 NORTH AMERICAN INDIGENOUS GAMES
Toronto 2017 NAIG Host Societ – Women’s lacrosse also to make its North American Indigenous Games debut
Toronto, ON – July 11, 2017 – With deep roots in Indigenous culture, the Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) is proud to showcase lacrosse as one of 14 sport categories featured at this summer’s Games. For the first time in the 25-year history of NAIG, women’s box lacrosse will make its debut, with teams representing six provinces across Canada.
Often referred to as “the medicine game”, Indigenous people of Turtle Island (North America) have enjoyed the game for centuries believing it to be a gift from the Creator to be played for enjoyment and for the of the healing people. Lacrosse was traditionally played by men, and was often used to train warriors and settle tribal disputes. Today it has evolved into a sport played by men and women of varying backgrounds in every territory and province in Canada and across the United States.
Toronto 2017 NAIG lacrosse competition will run from Monday July 17, to Friday July 21 at three venues located in Southern Ontario including Gaylord Powless Arena and Iroquois Lacrosse Arena on Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, and Harry Howell Arena in Hamilton. Teams representing regions from across Canada and the United States will be competing for a spot on the podium, as the legacy of the traditional game is carried forward by Indigenous youth age 13-19 on the Toronto 2017 NAIG stage. All competitions are free of charge and open to the public. Several games will also be broadcast live on cbcsports.ca. Full competitions and broadcast schedules may be found at: http://naig2017.to/en/sports-venues/sport-schedule/
The Toronto 2017 NAIG will run from July 16 – 23 and is expected to be the largest sporting and cultural gathering of Indigenous Peoples in North America. In addition to lacrosse, the traditionally Indigenous sports of archery and canoe/kayak will also be featured among the sports showcased at this year’s Games. Hosting more than 5,000 participants, in 14 sport categories, competition will take place within 16 world-class venues.
The North American Indigenous Games are recognized as an important vehicle to promote Indigenous sport development and recreation in Canada. Promoting sport, physical activity and the celebration of cultural distinctiveness, the Toronto 2017 NAIG will be more than a sporting event – it will inspire a generation, while showcasing Indigenous youth and their communities in a new light, a spotlight. We are all #Team88.
“Lacrosse is a gift from the creator, a ‘medicine’ used to drive away sickness and create positive energy. It is a sport that teaches athletes the value of community and teamwork, of working together for the greater good. Lacrosse, and sport in general, provides youth an opportunity to release tension and stress and replace negative energy with the positive benefits of participating in a team sport that has such an important place in Indigenous culture.”
-Cody Jamieson, Toronto 2017 NAIG Ambassador
Toronto 2017 NAIG Quick Facts
- From July 16-23, 2017, the Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games (Toronto 2017 NAIG) are expected to be the largest sporting and cultural gathering of Indigenous Peoples in North America. The Toronto 2017 NAIG will host more than 5,000 participants, and thousands of spectators for 14 sport competitions being held within world-class venues located across the Greater Toronto Area, including the Region of Hamilton and Six Nations of the Grand River.
- The 14 core sports of the Toronto 2017 NAIG include: 3-D Archery; Athletics; Badminton; Baseball; Basketball; Canoe/Kayak; Golf; Lacrosse; Rifle Shooting; Soccer; Softball; Swimming; Wrestling; Volleyball.
- Equally important, Toronto 2017 NAIG 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.
- Participating teams represent all 13 provinces and territories of Canada, as well as up to 13 regions from the United States; more than 5,000 athletes are expected to participate.
- More than 2,100 volunteers have already signed up to be involved with 2017 NAIG through www.naig2017.to/en/getinvolved.
- 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.
- The Aboriginal Sport and Wellness Council of Ontario (ASWCO), in collaboration with the City of Toronto and Government of Ontario, won the bid to host 2017 NAIG. As the sole rights holder, ASWCO created Toronto 2017 NAIG Host Society, a separate corporation to manage and operate the Games.
- Net proceeds from 2017 NAIG will be directed to a Legacy Fund, aimed at providing increased sport, health and wellness programming, services and equipment to Indigenous youth across the Province of Ontario.
Toronto 2017 NAIG Host Society honours the traditional lands and homelands on which the 2017 North American Indigenous Games will take place. We honour and thank the Huron-Wendat Nation, Metis Nation of Ontario, Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation and Six Nations of the Grand River as our community partners and traditional inhabitants of the lands of the City of Toronto, Region of Hamilton, Durham Region and surrounding areas.
Director, Marketing and Communications
Toronto 2017 NAIG Host Society