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15 years of the Indigenous Coaches and Officials Program

The Indigenous Coaches and Officials Program (ICOP) has spent the last decade and a half facilitating training and development opportunities across Saskatchewan for Indigenous peoples to become more involved in sport as a coach or an official.  

Starting in 2007 and formerly known as the Aboriginal Coaches and Officials Program, the initiative was created through a bilateral funding agreement between Sport Canada and the Department of Culture, Youth and Recreation, with Sask Sport, Sask Lotteries, the Coaches Association of Saskatchewan (CAS) and the Jeux Canada Games 2005 Legacy fund acting as partners in the agreement.  

Initially, the program was only meant to run until 2009, but its success and a continued need to provide training to Indigenous coaches and officials led to the program becoming a permanent fixture, which has helped over 7,800 coaches and officials to date. 

Today, as part of the Indigenous Participation Bilateral Agreement, ICOP supports sport programming that strengthens Indigenous capacity, leadership and culturally-relevant community sport programs.  

The program continues to work with Provincial Sport Organizations and the Tribal Council and First Nations Coordinator Program to support and offer services for Indigenous coaches and officials, as well as partners with other organizations for unique training initiatives. 

Some of those services and initiatives include: 

  • NCCP Community Sport, Competition and Instruction modules 
  • Aboriginal Coaching Modules 
  • NCCP Sport Specific Clinics 
  • Officials Clinics
  • Canada Games Aboriginal Apprentice Coach Program