TORONTO 2017 NAIG MARKS 88 DAY COUNTDOWN TO THE GAMES WITH OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF #TEAM 88
Toronto 2017 NAIG Host Society – Milestone day promotes reconciliation through sport, highlighted by City proclamation
Toronto, ON – April 19, 2017 – With 88 Days remaining until the Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG), the Host Society is commemorating the occasion with its official countdown celebration. The City of Toronto has officially proclaimed April 19, 2017 “Team 88 Day” in support of the Games and its place within the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action. Leadership from Indigenous and non-Indigenous government joined the general public as Toronto Mayor John Tory made the formal announcement at Nathan Phillips Square.
#Team88 is the legacy campaign of the Toronto 2017 NAIG which recognizes Call to Action #88 from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and is aimed at promoting reconciliation through the inspirational power of sport. #Team88 seeks to achieve this by reducing barriers for sport participation, telling the stories of Indigenous athletes at the national level, and promoting the inclusion of Indigenous protocols in all major Games and events. #Team88 also highlights the necessity of action as an important aspect of reconciliation, and encourages everyone to get involved, through a medium as universal as sport.
Duncan McCue, award-winning journalist, host of CBC Radio One’s Cross Country Checkup and member of the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation, hosted the event while Toronto 2017 NAIG Ambassador Cody Jamieson of the National Lacrosse League’s Rochester Knighthawks and athlete Ambassador Hannah Morningstar were among the speakers.
Students from schools across the GTA were also present as Toronto 2017 NAIG marked the milestone day with five sport demonstrations, cultural showcases, and Indigenous performances by Anishinabe hoop dancer Lisa Odjig, members of the Metis Fiddler Quartet, and Inuit Throat Singers.
Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast are encouraged to volunteer for the Games or join the conversation by supporting Toronto 2017 NAIG and Reconciliation through social media, using the hashtag #Team88.
The City of Toronto also unveiled a series of 14 Toronto 2017 NAIG #Team88 banners showcasing athlete ambassadors in the City Hall Rotunda. In a significant gesture, the City will allow them to remain in display until the conclusion of the Games.
In addition to large scale installations and interactive multimedia displays, Toronto 2017 NAIG made digital toolkits available for people to support #Team88 through social media.
Other countdown celebrations took place across Canada through various provincial and territorial governments and Toronto 2017 NAIG teams. For more information about the Toronto 2017 NAIG, please visit: www.naig2017.to.
“Celebrating 88 days out to the Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games, is about celebrating our youth. It was a day to recognize, on a national level, the tremendous and significant achievements of Indigenous athletes from across North America. The designation of April 19 as #Team88 Day by the City of Toronto, is a historic gesture, raising the issue of reconciliation to the forefront. Through the power of sport and culture, #Team88 seeks to unite communities as one, and inspire a generation to come.”
-Marcia Trudeau-Bomberry, CEO Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games
“No relationship is more important to our Government than the one with Indigenous Peoples, and we are proud to support these Games and Indigenous sport development that brings positive change in the health and well-being of Indigenous peoples across Canada. That is why, in Budget 2017, we have committed $18.9 million over five years, starting this year, and ongoing funding of $5.5 million every four years to strengthen Indigenous sport leadership and increase participation. This includes stable ongoing funding for the North American Indigenous Games. These measures support our commitment to address the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.”
-The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities
“Ontario is excited to support the many talented athletes in the Indigenous community that will soon inspire youth across Canada. One of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Call to Action is to provide opportunities for Indigenous youth to progress through their chosen sport, including by participating in the North American Indigenous Games. These Games will give our young athletes the chance to test their skills in an international sporting event and empower them to continue their journey in sport.”
-Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport
“The Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games are almost here! Our city is preparing to host thousands of indigenous athletes and visitors from across the continent, and anticipation is building for this important sport and cultural celebration. Today was proclaimed Team 88 Day in Toronto as we used the power and excitement of sport to help further awareness of reconciliation throughout our community.”
-Mayor John Tory, City of Toronto
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.
- The Opening Ceremony of Toronto 2017 NAIG will take place on July 16 at Aviva Centre, home to Rogers Cup.
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