Posted on July 29, 2022
Indigenous Sport & Wellness Ontario (ISWO) and the 2022 Ontario Summer Indigenous Games organizing committee welcomed Indigenous youth and families together, with performers and local dignitaries, to officially open the Games in a celebration of Indigenous cultures and sport.
Ottawa, Ontario – July 29, 2022 – ISWO celebrated an evening of Indigenous culture, music and entertainment to open the 2022 Ontario Summer Indigenous Games (OSIG) in partnership with the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation, the Government of Ontario, City of Ottawa, Ottawa Tourism, and the University of Ottawa.
The opening ceremony took place at the University of Ottawa at University Square, which will serve as the Athletes Village for the remainder of the games. President of ISWO, Marc Laliberte, addressed the crowd to welcome and congratulate the participants, their families, volunteers and staff.
With an inspiring opening message and remarks from Elder and Chief Wendy Jocko of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation; Deputy Mayor of the City of Ottawa, Laura Dudas; and Marc Laliberte, President of Indigenous Sport & Wellness Ontario, University Square was lit up with hope and excitement for the first time after a two-year long hiatus because of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
“The Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation are extremely excited about this opportunity to host the 2022 Ontario Summer Indigenous Games here in Ottawa,” said Chief Wendy Jocko. “We believe that the Games are an especially important event for all Indigenous youth, their families and communities. Sports are an opportunity for our youth, who represent the future for all our people to develop self-esteem and gain confidence, develop respect for themselves, others, our culture, and all living things. Miigwetch to the City of Ottawa for your generous hospitality, your warmth and for this unique and joyous celebration for our Indigenous athletes.”
“Our government is proud to support the Ontario Summer Indigenous Games – and the important role it plays in breaking down barriers for Indigenous youth,” said Neil Lumsden, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “I commend the Games organizers for their commitment, encourage all participants to deliver their best performance, and hope all attendees enjoy this celebration of Indigenous culture and sport.”
The event included traditional song and dance, along with special performances by Justin Holness, The Eagle River Singers with Pikwakanagan Dancers, The Lyons Sisters, Theland Kicknosway and the Godfather of powwow step, Juno-award winning, DJ Shub.
“It is an honour to be here in Ottawa, the home of the Algonquin Nation, to be welcoming Indigenous youth from across the province,” said Marc Laliberte, President of Indigenous Sport and Wellness Ontario. “We are truly thankful for all of our partners and sponsors who made these Games possible. There is no underestimating the influence of sport and wellness and its incredible impact on youth. The work we are doing here and events of the following days, will leave lasting impressions. Celebrating sport and culture and enabling youth to pursue their goals is truly lifesaving. It sets them up for success on and off the field.”
“Ottawa Tourism is pleased and honoured to welcome the 2022 Ontario Summer Indigenous Games and we applaud these young athletes for their achievements,” says Michael Crockatt, President and CEO of Ottawa Tourism. “Our tourism partners are excited to welcome them and their coaches, families, and fans as they explore the wide variety of experiences to be found in our region.”
“We are so proud to host the 2022 Ontario Summer Indigenous Games in Ottawa as we welcome hundreds of young participants to celebrate wonderful Indigenous cultures through sport,” said Deputy Mayor Laura Dudas and Mayor Jim Watson of Ottawa. “This event is a great opportunity for youth to discover this great city while creating lifelong memories and friendships with other competitors.”
Hundreds of Indigenous youth from across Ontario between the ages of 13-18 will compete in five sports and various events across the next three days. These provincial-level Games will also act as a Team Ontario athlete identifier for the North American Indigenous Games, set to take place in Kjipuktuk (Halifax), Dartmouth and Millbrook First Nation, Nova Scotia, in March 2023.
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 several 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 in near future.
Ontario Summer Indigenous Games Quick Facts:
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.
Manager of Marketing and Communications