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Aboriginal Sport and Wellness Council of Ontario (ASWCO) – Focus on athlete experience, culture, capacity building and Reconciliation.
Ottawa, ON – May 3, 2018 – Will #Team88, the North American Indigenous Games’ national platform for sport and Reconciliation be brought to the City of Ottawa? The decision comes this Thursday, May 3, when the city hosting the 2020 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) will be announced.
Ottawa will submit its final presentation to the North American Indigenous Games Council, along with other host candidates, including Halifax, Nova Scotia and Songhees First Nation/Victoria, British Columbia. The NAIG Council will formally announce the successful host candidate city for the 2020 North American Indigenous Games immediately following the presentation and acceptance of overall scores.
The Aboriginal Sport and Wellness Council of Ontario (ASWCO) chose Ottawa as Ontario’s host candidate for the games with the aim of building a strong future. According to Marc Laliberte, President of ASWCO “Hosting the 2020 NAIG in Ottawa is not about Ontario, it’s about sustainability for the NAIG movement. This is a bid for all of Turtle Island, to continue to celebrate our athletes and culture in a good way and to take the subject of Reconciliation to an international platform, in Canada’s capital city.”
The bid to host 2020 NAIG in Ottawa is focused on four key pillars: athlete experience, cultural representation and inclusion, capacity building, and Reconciliation. The Ottawa 2020 NAIG bid focuses on inclusion. Reflective of a diverse Indigenous population, the Ottawa 2020 NAIG bid showcases strong collective support and partnership from the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation, the Mohawk Nation at Akwesasne (which crosses over the colonial border to the United States), Kitigan Zibi Algonquin First Nation, the Anishnabe Algonquin Nation, and local Métis and Inuit communities through the Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition.

“Hosting the 2020 North American Indigenous Games in Ottawa would be a meaningful way to engage in our country’s Reconciliation efforts and recognize the achievements of Indigenous youth across Turtle Island,” said Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. “These games will bring together youth, families, communities and Nations for an inspirational multi-sport event that celebrates the culture and presence of all First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, and their valuable contributions to this land.”

The City of Ottawa is built on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Peoples, and has been a diverse and rich meeting place for Indigenous Peoples for millennia. Given the values of cultural inclusion, recognition and celebration, shared by both ASWCO and NAIG Council, the Ottawa 2020 NAIG bid wishes to reflect the rich cultural heritage of Indigenous Peoples from across Turtle Island, so that all participants can share in a sense of belonging and unity, while learning about the unique history and traditions of the Algonquin People.
The 2020 NAIG will represent the 30-year anniversary of the NAIG movement and the 10th edition of the Games, an opportunity to raise awareness and build greater momentum. Building on the foundation from the Toronto 2017 NAIG, a successful Ottawa bid would capitalize on well-established relationships with funders, sponsors, media outlets and National and Provincial organizations, contributing to a robust legacy plan (including a significant cash fund), aimed at strengthening the ability of NAIG Council and all Provincial/Territorial Aboriginal Sport Body’s (P/TASB) to continue to build on their mandate for increasing sport opportunities for Indigenous youth.
As Canada’s Capital City, Ottawa is home to a number of national and provincial sport organizations, nationally recognized Indigenous organizations, world-renowned art and music centres, and federal government agencies, that impact not only the delivery of a successful 2020 NAIG, but on potential future funding, recognition and growth of the NAIG movement as a whole.
Although the Ottawa 2020 NAIG Bid Committee is focused on the ‘athlete experience’ first and foremost, there are other equally important aspects it wishes to highlight. And while the NAIG is a politically neutral event, the opportunity to lobby, enhance awareness, build on legacy and increase capacity from all angles, is an opportunity that should not be missed.
“The Ottawa 2020 NAIG bid is an opportunity to build on the successes of 2017 and take the NAIG Movement to a new level. Increased awareness, capacity building and integration with national sport bodies and other organizations through partnerships for the 2020 NAIG, will result in a stronger foundation for the NAIG Movement overall. Ottawa and our community partners, have a proven track record of delivering successful large scale, multi-sport and cultural events, and have the collaboration, infrastructure and financial commitment to ensure the best NAIG ever. Missing this opportunity to host the NAIG in Canada’s capital city would be a disservice to our future generations,” said Carl Orr, Chair of the Ottawa 2020 NAIG Bid Committee.
The City of Ottawa approved a historic $1.3 million financial and in-kind contribution to the Games, with the Government of Ontario pledging $3.5 million, should Ottawa win the honour of hosting the 2020 NAIG. This event would attract 5,000 athletes, coaches and officials from across Turtle Island to Ottawa in the summer of 2020, as well as more than $50 million in economic activity.
Support and Follow: A key component to any successful Games bid is community engagement. To follow the events surrounding the Ottawa 2020 NAIG Host Candidate City Bid Site Evaluation visit To show your support of the bid and witness the excitement of the site visit, follow the action on Facebook: and on Twitter: @Ottawa2020naig.
ASWCO honours the traditional lands and homelands of all Indigenous Peoples and communities across the province of Ontario, including First Nations, Inuit and Metis living both on and off reserve, in rural and urban communities.
Contact Information:
Abidah Shirazi
Senior Advisor, Communications and Media Relations