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The Ottawa BlackJacks make a winning team with Indigenous Sport & Wellness Ontario (ISWO) for a world-class youth sporting event.

Mississauga, Ontario – July 22, 2022 – The Ottawa BlackJacks will be supporting, coaching and meeting Indigenous youth at the upcoming 2022 Ontario Summer Indigenous Games (OSIG). The 2022 OSIG will take place in Ottawa, from July 28 to 31, bringing youth and their families together from across Ontario, including Northern and remote communities, to celebrate Indigenous culture and sport. The Games will also act as an identifier for athletes who aspire to compete at the North American Indigenous Games, and a pathway leading to other national and international sport competitions.

“The Ottawa BlackJacks are so proud to partner with Indigenous Sport & Wellness Ontario (ISWO) in supporting the Ottawa 2022 Ontario Summer Indigenous Games,” said Michael Cvitkovic, president, Ottawa BlackJacks Basketball Club. “I have witnessed first-hand, the amazing work of ISWO and their impact on providing holistic programming for Indigenous youth. We look forward to playing a small role in acknowledging the talented athletes, coaches, and staff members who will gather later this month. Equally important, our organization welcomes the opportunity to learn from local elders and enjoy the cultural festivities that will surround these Games. We are grateful for this invitation to participate.”

After a long hiatus due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the 2022 OSIG will be the first in-person sporting event hosted by ISWO, who are looking forward to returning to the impactful work of increasing access and opportunity for Indigenous youth, through the unifying power of sport. The Games will take place in the nation’s capital on the traditional territories and ancestral homelands of the Algonquin Peoples, who have inhabited the region since time immemorial. There are several exciting events planned in addition to the sports competitions, including an opening and closing ceremony, a recreational volleyball tournament, and a community feast.

“The youth are so excited to meet and learn from premier professional athletes,” said Marc Laliberte, President of Indigenous Sport & Wellness Ontario. “These youth will get to meet inspiring role models and play alongside them. This sort of exposure and skill-building will create lifelong memories for the youth and serve as an important milestone on their sports journeys as they strive forward for excellence. We are beyond thrilled to have the Ottawa BlackJacks’ support for the 2022 Ontario Summer Indigenous Games.”

Of particular interest for the basketball athletes signed up for the Games, the partnership with the BlackJacks will see youth attend an official BlackJacks practice, including a meet and greet with players and coaches on the official court at the Arena at TD Place. BlackJacks players and coaching staff will also be running several basketball clinics for Games athletes at the University of Ottawa, as part of the 2022 OSIG athlete development program. There will be a ticket giveaway and discounts for OSIG participants to attend the BlackJacks game versus the Montreal Alliance on Monday, August 1, 2022. The OSIG will be featured at this BlackJacks game including an in-arena feature and special acknowledgements.

About Ottawa BlackJacks
The first expansion franchise of the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL), the Ottawa BlackJacks showcase the best of basketball and entertainment in the nation’s capital. The Ottawa front office brings NBA, NBA G League, national team, NCAA and major international pro league experience to the franchise. Led by General Manager and Vice-President, Basketball Operations, Jevohn Shepherd, Ottawa plays its home games out of the world-class Arena at TD Place in Lansdowne Park. The BlackJacks and the City of Ottawa have been awarded the rights to host the 2022 CEBL Championship Weekend from August 10-14, 2022 with games taking place in the Arena at TD Place. The CEBL Championship Weekend will be a celebration of basketball, music, and local culture that will feature concerts, street festivals, the CEBL Awards, and several legacy projects. For more information visit www.theblackjacks.ca.

About the Ontario Summer Indigenous Games
Hosted and developed by ISWO, the Ontario Summer Indigenous Games provides Indigenous youth, ages 13 to 18 years of age, the opportunity to compete against their peers in a number of sport categories. The Games also serve as an identifier for athletes who aspire to compete at the North American Indigenous Games, scheduled to take place in 2023.

ISWO will be hosting tryouts for all 14 NAIG sports throughout the year and into 2023, across the province of Ontario. A full schedule of tryouts, along with additional information, will be released soon.

Ontario Summer Indigenous Games Quick Facts:

  • The OSIG was founded by Indigenous Sport & Wellness Ontario (ISWO), the officiaL Provincial/Territorial Aboriginal Sport Body for Ontario. For more information about ISWO, please visit www.iswo.ca.
  • The 2022 OSIG 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 2022 OSIG Athletes Village will be located at University Square on the University of Ottawa campus.
  • CBC is the official media partner of the 2022 Ontario Summer Indigenous Games.

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Acknowledgement
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
Hilary Ostrom
Manager of Marketing and Communications
Hilary.ostrom@iswo.ca