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Aboriginal Sport and Wellness Council of Ontario (ASWCO) – The Aboriginal Sport and Wellness Council of Ontario partners with the City of Ottawa, as it moves forward with a 2020 NAIG bid
Mississauga, ON – January, 23 2017 – The Aboriginal Sport and Wellness Council of Ontario (ASWCO) announced Friday the City of Ottawa as the host candidate for an Ontario bid to host the 2020 North American Indigenous Games (2020 NAIG). Last November, ASWCO invited interested Ontario municipalities/communities to participate in the provincial bid process to determine a host partner for its official bid for the 2020 NAIG.
“We are confident and excited about our selection of the City of Ottawa as the official Ontario bid for the 2020 NAIG. Ottawa has so much to offer for our participants, including a rich cultural hub that will take these Games to the next level. It’s a tremendous opportunity to work with the Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn First Nation, in addition to the Inuit, Metis and urban Indigenous population throughout Ottawa. Additionally, it would provide an opportunity to take the popular legacy campaign ‘Team 88’ and the topic of reconciliation through sport, to Canada’s capital,” said Carl Orr, Chair of the ASWCO 2020 NAIG Bid Committee.
Following the success of the Toronto 2017 NAIG, despite unique and challenging circumstances, ASWCO decided that an opportunity to host the 2020 NAIG, with additional time for planning, would provide an even greater opportunity for impact on Indigenous sport in Ontario and help provide sustainability to the NAIG movement across all of Turtle Island. A partnership with the City of Ottawa presented the perfect opportunity to accomplish these goals for a number of reasons.
As the ancestral territory of the Algonquin and a gathering place for Indigenous peoples for millennia, Ottawa is a diverse community of sport enthusiasts, artists, cultural performers, educators, professionals and dreamers. The City of Ottawa would offer an unparalleled participant experience through spectacular sports venues, a strong and active network of Indigenous organizations representing diverse communities, accessible transportation networks, thousands of passionate volunteers, exquisite green spaces, top quality accommodations, a cohesive network of partner organizations (including many National Sport Organizations), and a breadth of cultural and leisure activities to surpass anything available anywhere else in the country.  
“Ottawa’s ‘Bid More, Win More, Host More’ strategy has brought many impressive events to Ottawa and Canada’s capital region over the past few years—and the 2020 North American Indigenous Games would be the perfect addition to the list,” says Michael Crockatt, President and CEO of Ottawa Tourism. “We look forward to welcoming the athletes, coaches, media, and fans to Ottawa for this spectacular event.”
No stranger to the bid process, ASWCO saved the 2017 NAIG, by submitting a last-minute bid to NAIG Council in 2015, when no bid was forthcoming from the United States. The North American Indigenous Games rotate between the US and Canada every three years, but due to political issues in the US at the time, no region was able to submit a bid. Without the joint efforts of ASWCO, the City of Toronto and the Government of Ontario, the North American Indigenous Games movement would have suffered a tremendous loss.
With only a year to pull off the 2017 Games, a dedicated team of just 14 full-time staff, interns and volunteers, and with the help of strategic alliances with campus university partners, sport organizations, government and corporate funding partners, the Toronto 2017 NAIG Host Society accomplished the herculean feat of hosting more than 5000 athletes and countless spectators, building on the accomplishments of previous North American Indigenous Games (NAIG).
Rick Brant, President of NAIG Council, declared the Toronto 2017 NAIG as the “Best NAIG ever and a new benchmark for the NAIG movement,” during his remarks at the Toronto 2017 NAIG Closing Ceremony. The  CBC announced the Toronto 2017 NAIG as one of its top five Indigenous news stories of 2017 and the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance, through its STEAM PRO 2.0 Economic Impact Study, reported that Toronto 2017 NAIG had a National Industrial Output of more than $44.3 million.
ASWCO Quick Facts:
  • The Aboriginal Sport and Wellness Council of Ontario (ASWCO) is the official Provincial/Territorial Aboriginal Sporting Body (P/TASB) for Ontario and serves all 133 First Nations, in addition to Inuit and Metis Peoples, living both on and off reserve, in urban and rural settings.
  • A legacy of Toronto 2017 NAIG, ASWCO will be hosting the inaugural Masters Indigenous Games (MIG), from July 12-15 in Toronto, ON. The MIG 2018 will feature both contemporary and traditional sports, a cultural village and powwow, with more than 2000 Indigenous participants expected from around the world. Learn more at
  • The Masters Indigenous Games will take place every two years, in communities and municipalities across the province of Ontario.
  • ASWCO runs more than 40 events on an annual basis, including multi-sport and leadership camps, the Ontario Native Basketball Invitational, the Ontario Native Volleyball Invitational, sport clinics, try-outs for Aboriginal Team Ontario, conferences, workshops and retreats.
  • ASWCO has developed a number of strategies to ensure its providing community relevant programming, including: a Far North Strategy, Urban Indigenous Strategy, Youth Leadership and Mental Health Strategy and a High Performance Strategy.
  • ASWCO hosted the Ontario Aboriginal Summer Games in 2016, with the next scheduled Games to take place in 2019.
  • Net proceeds from Toronto 2017 NAIG were directed to a Legacy Fund, aimed at increasing sport and wellness programming, services, and equipment to Indigenous youth and communities, across the province of Ontario.
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