From July 12-18 2020 the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) 2020 will take place in Nova Scotia.
Since games are expected to bring over 5,250 athletes to the province over one week.
“This event is going to be next level for all of us,” says Fiona Kirkpatrick-Parsons, Chair of the NAIG Host Society, who presented to HRM Council on Tuesday.
It was announced last year that the games would be held in HRM, but also in facilities in Millbrook First Nation and in Debert, N.S.
“There’s been an incredible amount of work that’s gone on already,” said John Rogers, CEO of NAIG 2020.
He told council the event will be a celebration of both sport and Indigenous culture, with participants from 756 nations represented from across Turtle Island, or North America.
“It will be the largest multi-sport cultural event ever held in Nova Scotia," says Rogers.
This is the tenth iteration of the games since 1990, but the first time it will be held in Atlantic Canada.
“The four pillars that we are focused on throughout this are friends made, games played, cultures shared, and legacy lived,” Rogers told the crowd at City Hall.
There are 16 sports to be held in held in 21 venues during the week of the games. Halifax contributed $1.5 million toward NAIG 2020's $11 million budget.
Mayor Savage told council he expects NAIG to have an even bigger impact on the city than the Canada Games did.
“It simply amplifies what happened in 2011 with the Canada Games,” he said.
The presenters told council they really want to welcome the participants into Halifax.
“We want them to feel like this is their second home for the week,” added Kirkpatrick-Parsons. “What we’re aiming to do is create meaningful experiences for participants.”
She says the Indigenous games are a great opportunity for Indigenous youth to be immersed in culturally traditional games.
“NAIG will partner with Mi’kmaq communities,” says Kirkpatrick-Parsons. “The games will increase Nova Scotians and visitors knowledge about Indigenous peoples, and it will be a safe and supportive environment for participants.”
The sports featured at NAIG include everything from Archery, Canoeing and Lacrosse, to Golf, Soccer and Swimming.
For members of the public who want to get involved with the games, NAIG is looking for volunteers in all aspects.
“We know Halifax is definitely going to come out and support and by far one of the best ways to do that is to become a volunteer,” said Kirkpatrick-Parsons.
The group is looking for 3,000 volunteers in everything from organizing and planning, to the days leading up to and even during the games.
“There’s really a role for everyone,” says Kirkpatrick-Parsons.
To learn more and sign up for volunteer roles, visit the NAIG website.