APTN National News
The second annual World Indigenous Nations Games is heading to Enoch Cree Nation and Edmonton July 2-9 said 0rganizers at its official launch Monday in Enoch.
So far 14 countries have registered to compete in the games, some of which include Panama, Finland, New Zealand, Uruguay and Russia.
“I take full responsibility to work with our predecessors who blazed these trails for us to celebrate sport and culture on not just a national but an international level,” said Chief Billy Morin of Enoch.
“We look forward to taking care of all Indigenous peoples of the world for that time that they’re here. They’re going to be our people. They’re going to be our brothers and sisters. We’re going to feed them, house them and make them feel comfortable.”
Peace, reconciliation and cultural diversity is the theme for the games. Surrounding First Nations, the Metis Nation of Alberta, Edmonton and the University of Alberta will join Enoch to sponsor the event.
“Our commitment to reconciliation goes beyond the walls of our institution,” said Jodi Calahoo-Stonehouse on behalf of U of A. “We are very proud to contribute to the success of these games. We see these games as an opportunity to be a pillar of the lifting up of Indigenous people from around the world.”
Over the course of eight days spectators will witness various sporting competition taking place in Enoch and Edmonton. Traditional games will also be featured where Indigenous peoples from Canada will showcase horse relays, lacrosse and Denesuline hand games.
Founder and ambassador Dr. Wilton Littlechild said the games will showcase the strength and beauty of cultural diversity from around the globe.
“Sport has the power to change lives,” said Littlechild. “We’ve gone through a very sad chapter in Canada where our cultures have been suppressed. We are calling on all governments to join us in leaving a positive legacy for all humanity.”
The games are expecting up to 4,000 athletes and participants with registration from at least 30 countries. A budget of $25 million is the goal with fundraising efforts still in motion.
Organizers welcome volunteers to submit an application on its website at www.wingames2017.com
The event is designed to coincide with Canada’s 150th anniversary and the 140th anniversary of Treaty 6.