The dream for the NAIG
| Willie Littlechild,
Courtesy of: North American Indigenous
Games Council, 1990 North American Indigenous Games Host Society 1990
The dream to hold Games for the Indigenous Peoples began
in the 1970's.
- In 1971, the Native Summer Games held in Enoch, Alberta drew 3,000
participants competing in 13 sports and many cultural events.
- In 1973, the Western Canada Native Winter Games were held on the Blood
Reserve in Kainai, Alberta.
- In 1975, a meeting of the National Indian Athletic Association was
held in Reno, Nevada, where it was decided to organize Games for Indigenous
Peoples. John Fletcher, a Peigan from Edmonton, Alberta, and Willie
Littlechild, a Cree of the Ermineskin Tribe at Hobbema, Alberta, attended;
John Fletcher is credited for his support in the decision to have the
Games, as presented by Mr. Littlechild, based on the above success.
- In 1977, the dream to host large scale Indigenous Games took another
step forward in Sweden at the Annual Assembly of the World Council of
Indigenous Peoples. Willie Littlechild presented the motion to host
International Indigenous Games. It was unanimously passed. A Brazilian
elder was so moved, he presented Willie Littlechild with a war arrow
representing peace in his tribe. Advising it be pointed to the ground,
this arrow would direct anything evil toward the underground. It is
now part of the sacred ceremonial run.
The vision for the NAIG
|Charles Wood, Founding
Courtesy of Charles Wood 1990
|click to hear audio
The vision: To improve the quality of life for Indigenous
Peoples by supporting self-determined sports and cultural activities which
encourage equal access to participation in the social / cultural /spiritual
fabric of the community in which they reside and which respects Indigenous
The dream became a reality in 1990 with
the first Games in Edmonton, Alberta
the vision continues
What the NAIG means
The North American Indigenous Games help us realize
the collective potential of our bodies, minds, spirits and of our people
- our hopes and dreams - The Spirit Strong, Brave & True.
Interview with Charles Wood, March 19, 2002
Conversations with Willie Littlechild and Charles Wood, March 2002
1990 Host Society tape
Ontario Aboriginal Sport Circle