The Situation in Canada

Sport means different things to different Indigenous people and groups. For many Indigenous people, the primary purpose of sport is to build self-esteem among youth. Sport and physical activity gives youth a sense of purpose and direction, and in some cases, helps them to engage in more appropriate activities during their free time.

In the Truth and Reconciliation Report (2015), sport and recreation are identified as tools for social development to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. This is the underlying rationale for this resource – to save lives and to build healthier Indigenous people, who contribute to healthier communities. A by-product of that is more Indigenous athletes pursuing sport excellence and standing on top of the podium. This resource seeks to provide guidance for that sport journey – from the playground to the podium – and everywhere in between.

To create the best experience in Indigenous sport and recreation, we need to recognize that many parts of Canada’s mainstream sport pathway do not reflect the needs and cultural priorities of Indigenous peoples. Accordingly, the Indigenous Long-Term Participant Development Pathway presents a framework that tries to respond to their real needs and goals.

How Physical Literacy helps Indigenous Peoples

The Sport for Life Indigenous Communities: Active for Life resource is a culturally tailored resource that has been developed by Sport for Life Society and the Aboriginal Sport Circle, with input from many Indigenous sport and physical activity leaders across the country. It is designed for Indigenous community members, such as parents, elders, educators, recreation leaders, and coaches, who value being active as a vehicle to the holistic development and well-being of both the individual and the community.

We use this resource to support individual champions as they seek to develop quality sport and physical activity programs and build collaborative relationships across community members in a journey towards building an active, healthy, and engaged community.

Resources and Links