Government is supporting the Mi’kmaq Sport Council of Nova Scotia in its bid to bring the 2020 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) to Halifax. The site visit took place this week and if successful, will be the largest multi-sport event to ever be held in Nova Scotia.
“Hosting these games will provide an opportunity to further develop a more respectful and committed relationship with Mi’kmaq, Aboriginal and Indigenous communities across North America,” said Leo Glavine Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage. “The 2020 North American Indigenous Games would bring significant economic and social opportunities to our province, leaving a lasting legacy of development and growth for our indigenous people.”
The Government of Nova Scotia has committed $3.5 million to support the games.
This event brings more than 5,000 Indigenous participants from over 756 nations in 15 sports events. The games would include a large cultural village and a variety of cultural performances over eight days. Supporting initiatives which promote Nova Scotia’s Mi’kmaw culture, such as this bid, aligns with the themes and priorities of the province’s Culture Action Plan.
“It is time for our province to host this prestigious event, highlighting our Mi’kmaq culture to North America,” said Chief Norman Bernard of Wagmatcook and president of the Mi’kmaq Sport Council. “We are honoured to have partnered on this exciting opportunity to bring hundreds of Indigenous athletes to one city.”
The North American Indigenous Games were developed to improve the quality of life for Indigenous peoples by supporting self-determined sports and cultural activities that encourage equal access to participation. The North American Indigenous Games Council, which operates the games, will decide on the 2020 host location after final presentations by the competing jurisdictions are complete in early May.
“Hosting the 2020 NAIG will not only bring cultural, spiritual and traditional values of the athletes to Halifax, it will boost significant economic growth”, said Halifax Mayor Mike Savage. “The games will help strengthen our relationships with the Indigenous communities.”