On Thursday, K’jipuktuk — Halifax — was announced as the host city for the 2020 North American Indigenous Games. With more than 5,000 athletes expected taking part, it will be the largest multi-sporting event ever held in Nova Scotia.
The winning bid from the Mi’kmaq Sport Council of Nova Scotia was supported by a wide range of local governments and organizations, including Dalhousie. One of several post-secondary partners in the bid (alongside Saint Mary’s, Mount Saint Vincent and King’s), Dalhousie will provide accommodations for athletes and coaches as well as athletic facilities for both practice and competition.
“This is great for the city and great for campus,” says Tim Maloney, executive director of Athletics and Recreation at Dalhousie.
“This is an important event — not just athletically but also culturally,” he adds, noting ongoing efforts and initiatives focused on Truth and Reconciliation. “This event will be both an amazing opportunity to bring together while also showcasing Halifax.”
In a release, Norman Bernard, chief of Wagmatcook and president of the Mi’kmaq Sport Council, says he’s confident the games, “will provide opportunities for all Nova Scotians to learn more about the contributions of our Mi’kmaw and Indigenous culture across the province and North America.”
Athletics & accommodations on campus
It’s not clear yet exactly which campus athletics facilities will end up being used for games, but Maloney cites the Dalplex pool and fieldhouse as likely venues. In addition, Ancillary Services will be providing 1,500 residence spaces as well as meal hall services for athletes and coaches, making Dalhousie one of the key accommodation hosts for the games and offering "a home away from home."
“Ancillary Services looks forward to working with the organizing committee and ensuring the athletes feel welcome and supported during their time at Dalhousie and in Halifax,” says Heather Sutherland, assistant vice-president of Ancillary Services.
The games, which will take place over eight days in 2020 (dates TBD), will feature competitions in 15 sports and draw participation from 756 Indigenous nations across North America. Events will be held across the Halifax Regional Municipality as well as at Millbrook First Nation.
Dalhousie already has a number of student connections to the North American Indigenous Games. Incoming Dalhousie Student Union President Aaron Prosper has been both a participant and a coach at the games, and Kate Fines, starting goalie for the Dal Tigers women’s soccer team, also competed at the 2017 games in Toronto.
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