Sports and reconciliation

Learn how the Government of Canada is responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action 87 to 91.

87. We call upon all levels of government, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, sports halls of fame, and other relevant organizations, to provide public education that tells the national story of Aboriginal athletes in history.

What's happening?

In 2017, the annual Tom Longboat Awards, a program that honours Indigenous athletes for their outstanding contributions to sport in Canada, were relaunched. On October 18, 2018, the 2 national recipients, Michael Linklater (Saskatchewan) and Jocelyne Larocque (Manitoba), were honoured at Canada's Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Sport Canada will continue to work in collaboration with the Aboriginal Sport Circle to identify opportunities to tell the national story of Indigenous athletes.

88. We call upon all levels of government to take action to ensure long-term Aboriginal athlete development and growth, and continued support for the North American Indigenous Games, including funding to host the games and for provincial and territorial team preparation and travel.

What's happening?

Through Budget 2017, the Government of Canada invested $18.9 million over 5 years, starting in fiscal year 2017 to 2018, and ongoing funding of $5.5 million every 4 years thereafter, to support Indigenous youth through sport initiatives.

More Indigenous children and youth will be able to participate in sport through investments in the following 4 areas:

  • Indigenous sport leadership
  • culturally relevant sport programming
  • the North American Indigenous Games
  • Sport Canada's data and research

More specifically, the investments will allocate funds to:

  • the Aboriginal Sport Circle to assume a greater leadership role on Indigenous sport development
  • provinces and territories, through bilateral agreements, to increase the operational capacity of provincial and territorial Indigenous sport bodies, increase the offering of culturally relevant sport programming including North American Indigenous Games team preparation and travel
  • national sport organizations and multisport service organizations to ensure long-term indigenous athlete development and growth through increasing the offering of culturally relevant sport programming
  • the North American Indigenous Games on a 4-year cycle starting in fiscal year 2019 to 2020 to ensure the Games are hosted in Canada every 4 years

As this initiative is implemented, the government will look for opportunities to profile excellence among Indigenous youth in sport.

Through Budget 2018, the Government of Canada invested $47.5 million over 5 years and $9.5 million per year ongoing, to expand the use of sport for social development in more than 300 Indigenous communities.

89. We call upon the federal government to amend the Physical Activity and Sport Act to support reconciliation by ensuring that policies to promote physical activity as a fundamental element of health and well-being, reduce barriers to sports participation, increase the pursuit of excellence in sport, and build capacity in the Canadian sport system, are inclusive of Aboriginal peoples.

What's happening?

In January 2017, the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities met with the Aboriginal Sport Circle's Board of Directors to begin a dialogue on addressing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action, in particular Call to Action 89.

The ongoing work in other areas related to Indigenous sport development will lay the foundation for the future amendment of the Physical Activity and Sport Act. The Government of Canada recognizes that ongoing engagement with Indigenous Peoples is an important component of this process.

90. We call upon the federal government to ensure that national sports policies, programs, and initiatives are inclusive of Aboriginal peoples, including, but not limited to, establishing:

  1. In collaboration with provincial and territorial governments, stable funding for, and access to, community sports programs that reflect the diverse cultures and traditional sporting activities of Aboriginal peoples.
  2. An elite athlete development program for Aboriginal athletes.
  3. Programs for coaches, trainers, and sports officials that are culturally relevant for Aboriginal peoples.
  4. Anti-racism awareness and training programs.

What's happening?

Through Budget 2017, the Government of Canada invested $18.9 million over 5 years, starting in fiscal year 2017 to 2018, and ongoing funding of $5.5 million every 4 years thereafter, to support Indigenous youth and sport initiatives. More Indigenous children and youth will be able to participate in sport by investments in the following 4 areas:

  • Indigenous sport leadership
  • culturally relevant sport programming
  • the North American Indigenous Games
  • Sport Canada's data and research

More specifically, the investments allocate funds to:

  • the Aboriginal Sport Circle to assume a greater leadership role on Indigenous sport development
  • provinces and territories, through bilateral agreements, to increase the operational capacity of provincial and territorial Indigenous sport bodies, increase the offering of culturally relevant sport programming including North American Indigenous Games team preparation and travel
  • national sport organizations and multisport service organizations to ensure long-term Indigenous athlete development and growth through increasing the offering of culturally relevant sport programming
  • the North American Indigenous Games on a 4-year cycle starting in fiscal year 2019 to 2020 to ensure the Games are hosted in Canada every 4 years

As this initiative is implemented, the Government of Canada will look for opportunities to profile excellence among Indigenous youth in sport, which will help to develop an elite athlete program for Indigenous athletes, as per Call to Action 90ii.

Through Budget 2018, the Government of Canada invested $47.5 million over 5 years, and $9.5 million per year ongoing, to expand the use of sport for social development in more than 300 Indigenous communities.

91. We call upon the officials and host countries of international sporting events such as the Olympics, Pan Am, and Commonwealth games to ensure that Indigenous peoples' territorial protocols are respected, and local Indigenous communities are engaged in all aspects of planning and participating in such events.

What's happening?

Sport Canada is reviewing the manner in which Indigenous groups were engaged with during the planning and delivery phases of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Toronto 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games. This review serves as the basis for entrenching Call to Action 91 in appropriate Hosting Program documents and to ensure that territorial protocols are respected for any event that Canada provides support to.

In addition, Sport Canada will work in close collaboration with the organizing committees of International Major Multisport Games to ensure they are aware of and acting upon this call to action.

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