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Happy Indigenous History Month

Indigenous athletes compete at numerous provincial, national and international events, representing Saskatchewan and gaining unique stories in the process. Sask Sport wants to share the stories that have been made through sport.  

For the month of June, Sask Sport will feature articles every Friday that celebrate Indigenous History Month through the lens of sport. Indigenous athletes and programs will be highlighted to honour the rich heritage and athletic achievements of the province’s Indigenous Peoples.  

Featured alongside our stories will be accessible resources that aim to keep the amateur sport community healthy, safe, fun and inclusive. 

Sask Sport and its partner organizations assist in the delivery of several programs designed to encourage Indigenous participation in sport throughout the year.

The Indigenous Community Sport Development Grant Program aims to provide greater sport participation opportunities for Indigenous youth in Saskatchewan, by supporting development and implementation of community sport programs. Eligible communities can access the grant program, which receives additional funding from Sport Canada Aboriginal Participation and the Sask Lotteries Trust Fund for Sport, Culture and Recreation. This program is delivered in partnership with the Districts for Sport, Culture and Recreation. To find out more please connect with your local District.

Future Leaders Program

The Future Leaders Program aims to help build coaching and leadership capacity within Saskatchewan’s Indigenous sport system. Members of local communities and former North American Indigenous Games athletes who have aged out can get involved as coaches and explore sport through another perspective. The program aims to develop, support and mentor individuals so they can become future leaders and coaches in their local communities.

Sign up for the Future Leaders Program and gain access to training for coaches and resources such as the National Coaching Certification Program, first aid, developing toolkits for programs, Respect in Sport and various other certifications. 

The Indigenous Sport Enhancement Program is committed to helping raise the performance level of Indigenous athletes in sport and increasing the capacity of Indigenous coaches, officials and volunteers. The program is aimed at developing and preparing athletes for major competitions and multi-sport games, with a focus on the North American Indigenous Games. It is also designed to support year-round, high-intensity individual and sport-specific training programs devoted to skill and fitness development and competition-specific training. Delivered in partnership with Provincial Sport Organizations and Indigenous leaders the program sees more than 3,500 athletes participate in a variety of sport development opportunities.

This volunteer-driven, 12-member committee provides advice and assists the Sask Sport Board of Directors with strategic direction regarding Indigenous engagement and participation in sport throughout Saskatchewan. The council is supported by Sask Sport in partnership with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations and Métis Nation Saskatchewan.

For the past 16 years the Indigenous Coaches and Officials Program (ICOP) has helped provide training and development opportunities across Saskatchewan for Indigenous Peoples to become engaged more involved in sport as a coach or an official. The program was launched in 2007 and intended to run only until 2009, but became a permanent fixture due to the ongoing demand for training. ICOP participants take part in NCCP Community Sport, Competition and Instruction modules, Aboriginal Coaching Modules, NCCP sport-specific clinics and officials clinics. Today the program remains available free of charge and, as of June 2022, over 7,800 coaches and officials had participated. The program believes that every athlete deserves a quality trained coach.

The Tribal Council and First Nations Sport, Culture and Recreation Coordinator Program supports grassroots development and quality of life in 74 First Nations communities by increasing access to and participation in sport, culture and recreation activities. It also supports team development for the Tony Cote Summer and Winter Games — annually supporting the participation of approximately 3,500 athletes, coaches and volunteers.

The Aboriginal Apprentice Coach Program is a partnership between the Aboriginal Sport Circle, the Provincial/Territorial Coaching Representatives, the Canada Games Council and the Coaching Association of Canada. The program provides the opportunity for each province and territory to send two coaches of Indigenous ancestry to the Canada Games in apprenticeship roles. The program provides an opportunity for the apprentices to gain new skills, as well as bring value and additional perspective to the sports and teams they are a part of.