Masters Indigenous Games makes a comeback
Time is ticking as organizers countdown to the world’s largest masters global Indigenous sport and cultural event, scheduled to take place in the nation’s capital next August.
Algonquin Territory – Ottawa, Ontario – August 18, 2022 – After a difficult decision to postpone the previously scheduled Masters Indigenous Games (MIG) due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers for the 2023 MIG, in partnership with the City of Ottawa and Ottawa Tourism, are thrilled to welcome athletes and their families from around the world, to share and celebrate Indigenous cultures, sports and traditions.
The 2023 MIG will take place on the traditional territory and unceded homelands of the Algonquin Peoples, who have inhabited the Ottawa region and surrounding lands from time immemorial.
From August 17 to 23, the 2023 MIG will create opportunities for Indigenous adults to get physically active, engage in community and compete against their peers in various contemporary and traditional sporting activities. With more than 1,500 Indigenous athletes expected to attend, competing in 10 sport categories, and a cultural festival open to the public, the event will inspire and engage participants and spectators alike.
“The Masters Indigenous Games creates competitive sport opportunities for Indigenous athletes with the goal of more active, healthy lives, and stronger communities,” says Marc Laliberte, President of Indigenous Sport and Wellness Ontario (ISWO). “After postponing the 2021 Games because of the COVID-19 pandemic, athletes are looking forward to being active and connecting with their peers in a fun and culturally rich environment. The Masters Indigenous Games provides a next step in the Indigenous sport pathway and showcases sport as a lifelong pursuit. Sport is healing, and it’s truly powerful medicine. Whether you’re eight or 80, sport and healthy competition gives one a good feeling, and provides opportunities to connect with others and experience new things.”
Hosted and developed by Indigenous Sport & Wellness Ontario (the designated Provincial/Territorial Aboriginal Sport Body for Ontario), the Masters Indigenous Games provides Indigenous adults aged 20 years and older the opportunity to compete against their peers in a variety of sporting activities, including basketball, lacrosse, athletics, canoeing and more. Not only is the MIG an opportunity for Indigenous athletes to compete, but the Games also present an opportunity for North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) alums to reunite with past teammates, competitors, and friends.
Before the development of the MIG, the only international competitive opportunity for Indigenous Peoples was provided through the NAIG, which is now restricted to youth ages 13 to 19. The MIG seeks to fill that gap with support for lifelong physical activity and opportunity for increased participation in sport, within a cultural framework that celebrates the rich history and unique diversity of Indigenous Peoples.
About the Masters Indigenous Games
The Masters Indigenous Games were founded by Indigenous Sport & Wellness Ontario (ISWO) to meet the growing need for competitive sport for the aging population. The Games encourage mature individuals to be active, with the awareness that competitive sport can continue throughout life, contributing to increased health and wellness. The inaugural MIG took place in Toronto, Ontario from July 12-15, 2018, providing an opportunity for Indigenous adults worldwide to engage in sport competition with their peers.
Masters Indigenous Games Quick Facts:
- The MIG 2018 featured more than 600 participants, from six countries and 59 Indigenous communities, 300 volunteers, 200 registered Pow Wow dancers, 70 cultural performers, with more than 5,000 people in attendance over the four-day event.
- The MIG 2018 resulted in an economic impact of $3 million dollars and supported Indigenous performers, artists, and businesses.
- The 2023 MIG are generously funded by the Government of Ontario, through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, and supported by Ottawa Tourism and the City of Ottawa.
- The 2023 MIG will feature a Cultural Festival, free and open to the public, located on the Great Lawn at Lansdowne Park, showcasing Indigenous artists, performers, interactive traditional sport demonstrations, storytellers and vendors.
- More than 700 volunteers will be required to support the 2023 MIG; volunteer registration is expected to open in early 2023.
- For more information about ISWO, please visit www.iswo.ca.
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.