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 November 9, 2017, the 2 national recipients, Joy Spearchief-Morris and James Lavallee, were honoured at Canada's Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

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?

Budget 2017 announced investments of $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 (ongoing)
  • Sport Canada's data and research (ongoing)

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 Aboriginal 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 proposes to invest $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?

On January 27, 2017, the former Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities met with the Aboriginal Sport Circle's Board of Directors. Present at the meeting were representatives from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the First Nations Inuit Health Branch from Health Canada. The meeting was called in order to begin a dialogue on addressing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action, including conversations related to Call to Action 89.

On January 18, 2018, Sport Canada and federal representatives met again with the Aboriginal Sport Circle to reiterate the need for collaborative action to address the Calls to Action. It was understood from the meeting that Call to Action 89 is a longer term deliverable given changes to the legislation will require consultation with other federal government departments in collaboration with the Aboriginal Sport Circle. 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.

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?

Budget 2017 announced investments of $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 Aboriginal 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, 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 proposes to invest $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 the planning and delivery phases of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Toronto 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games. This review will serve as the basis to consider formally entrenching Call to Action 91 in appropriate Hosting Program documents, to ensure territorial protocols are respected for any events we provide 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.

The 9th Games of La Francophonie will be held in 2021 in Moncton and Dieppe, NB. The Government of Canada appointed Vicki Wallace-Godbout, a member of the Madawaska Maliseet First Nation to the National Organizing Committee.

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