News & Events

NAIG Insider December Newsletter

February 3, 2017








With more than 5000 participants, 2000 volunteers and 14 sport categories, the Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) is expected to be the largest sport and cultural gathering of Indigenous Peoples
from across North America. 




Toronto 2017 NAIG Host Society honours the traditional lands and homelands on which the 2017 North American Indigenous Games will take place. We honour and thank the Huron-Wendat Nation, Metis Nation of Ontario, Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation and Six Nations of the Grand River as our community partners and traditional inhabitants of the lands of the City of Toronto, Region of Hamilton, Durham Region and surrounding areas.

Toronto 2017 NAIG Host Society is grateful for the opportunity to gather Indigenous people from across Turtle Island in support of all participants of the Toronto 2017 NAIG.

Past, present, future. All One.



Wishing you a Joyous Holiday Season and a Happy New Year,
on behalf of the Toronto 2017 NAIG Host Society. 







The Toronto 2017 NAIG will bring together communities from across Turtle Island to celebrate Indigenous heritage and sport from July 16-23, 2017. In celebrating the distinct heritage of each of our community partners, the Toronto 2017 NAIG is committed to providing opportunities for engagement, participation, and celebration of culture, through a number of initiatives leading up to and during Games.

Toronto 2017 NAIG Mascot Design Contest

The Toronto 2017 NAIG Official Mascot Design Contest launched on December 8, with the hopes of celebrating the athletes and communities represented by the Toronto 2017 NAIG. Indigenous youth, aged six – 19, can submit designs, including a name and background story for their mascot, for a chance to win a trip for two to Toronto to attend the Opening Ceremony of the 2017 Games. Prizes will also be awarded for second and third place finalists, including a souvenir gift of official Toronto 2017 NAIG merchandise.

The Toronto 2017 NAIG Mascot Design Contest closes January 20, 2017. Don’t miss the opportunity to shine a spotlight on your community and submit your design today. Click here for full contest terms and conditions and be sure to check back often for future promotions leading up to the Games.






Official Volunteer Application Release – January 2017

For the more than 1,700 volunteers who have already registered to volunteer their time with Toronto 2017 NAIG, we are excited to welcome you to the NAIG community! As a next step in the registration process, we will be releasing the official volunteer application over the coming weeks. Emails will be sent to the address provided during the initial registration process, including a link to the official volunteer application. The application will take less than 10 minutes and will be the next step in finalizing your role with the Toronto 2017 NAIG volunteer team. 

Volunteer Lead and Committee Recruitment is Now Open

To assist the dynamic team of volunteers for the Toronto 2017 NAIG, the Host Society is seeking passionate and motivated candidates to fill the roles of Volunteer Lead and Volunteer Committee Members. 

Both positions are provided on a part-time, volunteer basis, with a flexible time commitment to fit your busy schedule. If you’re a natural born leader with exceptional interpersonal skills, join our team in assisting our dedicated volunteers in delivering a best-in-class Games experience during Toronto 2017 NAIG.

For more information or to apply to become a Toronto 2017 NAIG Volunteer Lead, click hereVolunteer Lead applications are due January 31, 2016
If you’d like to become involved as a Toronto 2017 NAIG Volunteer Committee member, click hereCommittee applications are due January 13, 2016.  


Click here to Register as a Volunteer







Caption: CEO of Toronto 2017 NAIG, Marcia Trudeau-Bomberry, and GM of Toronto 2017 NAIG, Michael Cvitkovic, present Ted and Brandon Nolan with an honorary paddle to celebrate their contributions to the Indigenous sport community. 

Ted Nolan Joins Toronto 2017 NAIG for Volunteer Lunch & Learn

On December 2, the Toronto 2017 NAIG Host Society was joined by influential community leaders for an exclusive event celebrating the successes of the Toronto 2017 NAIG. The month of November marked the official launch of volunteer recruitment for the 2017 Games, which saw more than 1,600 volunteer registrations during the first month of the campaign.

The event was hosted at the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto (NCCT) and featured renowned hockey leader, Ted Nolan, who delivered a powerful keynote speech as a celebrated member of the sport community and proud supporter of the North American Indigenous Games. Speaking to the power of sport in defining a positive path for youth, Nolan reflected on the moments and experiences that helped to shape his path, not only as an athlete and coach, but also as a person. Born into a home on Garden River First Nation lacking plumbing and electricity, his story represents the crushing barriers faced by Indigenous youth across North America in accessing sport, and the life changing opportunities that can be encountered through hard work, determination and resilience.

Marcia Trudeau, CEO of the Toronto 2017 NAIG, delivered a heartfelt presentation to attendees, thanking them for their immense support of the NAIG movement and the opportunities provided through the Games to Indigenous youth and communities across Turtle Island. To conclude the event, Ted and his oldest son Brandon Nolan were presented an honorary paddle on behalf of the Toronto 2017 NAIG Host Society, to recognize the contributions that the 3 Nolans (including his youngest son and centreman of the L.A Kings, Jordan Nolan) have made to the Indigenous sport community. The Nolan’s continue to inspire strength and pride in the next generation of athletes and future community leaders, by providing positive sport role models and opportunities for high performance attainment within Indigenous youth.

For more information on the 3 Nolans, visit





Save the Date: National Aboriginal Physical Activity and
Wellness Conference (NAPAWC) 

From May 10-12 the Aboriginal Sport and Wellness Council of Ontario (ASWCO) will be hosting the nation's largest conference on physical activity and wellness for First Nations, Métis and Inuit people, created for all of those with an interest in sports and recreation, health and wellness, and traditional activity. The National Aboriginal Physical Activity and Wellness Conference (NAPAWC) will be held in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport and the University of Guelph, as the official venue to the conference. The conference will provide a networking and educational opportunity. In addition, there will be also a tradeshow for Aboriginal organizations and mainstream businesses to share their services and products. Speakers within sport, health and wellness, and community and cultural development will share their stories and best practices.

For more information click here. To register to attend NAPAWC click here.






Award Winning Humber Valley Golf Course Named as Latest 
Venue Partner of Toronto 2017 NAIG

The Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games Host Society is proud to announce the latest addition to the list of world-class venues of the 2017 NAIG - Humber Valley Golf Course. Located in the heart of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Humber Valley Golf Course provides a challenging course for the athletes of the Toronto 2017 NAIG with combinations of links, valley lands, and bunkers. Winner of the 2015 Golfer’s Choice Gold Award, the pristine par 70 course offers a challenging back nine and measures 5,472 yards from the longest tee.

Humber Valley Golf Course is an official venue of the City of Toronto, who is a proud supporter of the Toronto 2017 NAIG. Testing precision and accuracy, the Toronto 2017 NAIG Host Society is proud to announce Humber Valley Golf Course as the official home to golf competition of the Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games.






Caption:  Stephanie Koenig joins the Toronto 2017 NAIG team as Manager of Events bringing a strong background in corporate and non-profit event planning, along with an immense passion for the Games as a former athlete. 


December's Team Profile
Stephanie Koenig, Manager of Events 

Being involved in sport since the age of seven in competitive curling and baseball, Stephanie knows all too well the sacrifices and challenges faced by athletes when attempting to reach the next level or goal. Originally from London, Ontario, Stephanie reflected on her time away while attending the Trillium Curling Camp in preparation for the upcoming season.

“Sport made me who I am. It was such a big part of my life – several days a week I was at the diamond or rink. Two weeks out of the summer I was away at the Trillium Curling Camp. Sport played a big part in my development, building leadership skills, friendships and learning about the importance of working together as a team to reach a common goal.”

The love of sport has followed Stephanie through her academic and professional career. Stephanie holds a degree in Leisure and Recreation Management from the University of Ottawa, where she wrote her thesis on the legacies created by major Games. Her thesis paper was published and received in 2008 as ‘Best Student Paper’ by the Administrative Sciences Association of Canada. Stephanie also holds a Masters Degree in Sports Management from Ithaca College in New York State.

Stephanie began her career in sport with an internship with Major League Baseball (MLB), where she was able to travel through Europe delivering training camps and special events. As a dedicated Toronto Blue Jays fan, her experience with MLB helped to build a strong foundation for her next endeavors and involvement with major Games and sporting events. Following her six-month internship with the MLB, Stephanie was fortunate to land her dream job with the 2010 Vancouver Olympics as Production Coordinator for Curling and Wheelchair Curling. Working in her first Games setting during the 2010 Olympics, Stephanie fell in love with the Games environment and the comradery among her team and the athletes she was fortunate to work with. She would go on to work with Special Olympics, London Health Sciences Centre and the Home Depot, fulfilling roles centered around community development and special events.

Through her experience and love for major Games, Stephanie joined the Toronto 2017 NAIG team as Manager of Events with the hopes of inspiring the athletes of NAIG with the same love of sport she has felt throughout her life and career.“I hope the athletes go home with a sense of pride that they were able to make it to the Games. Win or lose, I hope they realize how special that is.”

The excitement for the athletes to compete in the world-class venues and to experience the comradery and pride felt through involvement in sport is what motivates Stephanie to come into work each day. Her team at the Toronto 2017 NAIG Host Society has quickly became her family, sharing her passion to provide a best-in-class Games experience for the athletes of the Toronto 2017 NAIG and building memories to last a lifetime for all those involved with the Games.

A lover of pub trivia, ultimate frisbee and culinary adventure, Stephanie brings an accomplished background in sport management and a passion for the Games. Welcome to the team, Stephanie!






Caption: The four directions teachings and winter solstice acknowledge the natural cycle of life, reminding us to be grateful for creation and the connectedness of all aspects of life. 

Winter Solstice and the Four Directions

With the arrival of white blankets of snow and the crisp December air comes acknowledgement of the winter solstice; a time of reflection and of honouring our Elders. As the days become shorter and nights longer, the winter solstice reminds us to be grateful for creation, connectedness and the cycle of renewal. The turning of day to night. The change in season from winter to spring. The ending and beginning of a new year.

The four directions teachings reference the North, South, East and West, and are used by Indigenous communities to teach aspects of life and the natural progression of creation. The cycle of renewal and connectedness of creation is represented by the four directions teachings, or medicine wheel, as a circle with four quadrants. Each quadrant is represented by a colour and aspect of life. The four directions teachings can speak to many aspects of life, including the four seasons (winter, spring, summer, fall), stages of life (child, youth, adult, elder), and physical elements (earth, air, water, fire). Among the different interpretations of the four directions between communities, the one commonality is demonstrating the importance of the natural cycle of life.

The winter months are represented by the north (or the northern door) and reflect an end to the cycle, bringing on a time of rest and reflection. The winter months are a time of storytelling and reflecting on the teachings and wisdom of our Elders. As the waters, earth and plants stand still and frozen, we are reminded during the winter months that it is a time to honour our Elders, remain thankful for gifts from The Creator and reflect on the natural progression of life; all while looking forward to the beginning of the next cycle of life and renewal with the arrival of spring. 

If you have a story to share from your community, contact Brittney D. Sault (Coordinator, Communications) at






Caption:  Sports leader connect during the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), including CEO of Toronto 2017 NAIG, Marcia Trudeau; Marc Laliberte, President of the Aboriginal Sport and Wellness Council of Ontario (ASCWO); Christian Sinclair, CEO of Winnipeg 2002 NAIG; and founder of the North American Indigenous Games, Dr. Wilton Littlechild. 


Assembly of First Nations (AFN)

Marcia Trudeau-Bomberry, CEO of Toronto 2017 NAIG, attended the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) – Special Chiefs Assembly, held from December 6-8 in Gatineau, Quebec to seek a resolution supporting the Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games. The resolution of support highlighted the North American Indigenous Games as an important agent in creating sustainable opportunities for sport, recreation and physical activity, to positively impact the overall health and wellness of Indigenous youth and their communities. The resolution also requested support in recognizing sport and the NAIG as a pathway to reconciliation, in reference to the five Calls to Action (#87-#91) listed in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report. The resolution was adopted with unanimous support.

The AFN also provided an opportunity to engage with representatives from across the country, to promote the 2017 NAIG and various community engagement initiatives, and to also seek input on ideas for further community engagement, participation and representation.







We have official Toronto 2017 NAIG posters ready for you to download, print and share! Click here to access the print ready PDF and web files.


Want to help promote the Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games? Click here to download your official web banner (or slider) that you can post on your website. We also have the volunteer web banner available, click here to download a copy.



The Toronto 2017 NAIG team is growing! Be part of the team tasked with delivering a best-in class Games experience for more than 5000 athletes. 

Click the above link for current opportunities with the Toronto 2017 NAIG Host Society. 


Toronto 2017 NAIG is proud to release the final video, in a series of four, promoting the game of Lacrosse – The Creators Game.
Toronto 2017 NAIG will be the first time in the 25 year history of the Games that female box lacrosse will be featured. To add to the excitement, lacrosse competition of the Toronto 2017 NAIG will be hosted in Six Nations of the Grand River – with official venues including the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena and Gaylord Powless Arena.

View, share and promote! Access these videos and more on the official Toronto 2017 NAIG website
Subscribe to our Youtube channel for updates and video content related to the 2017 Games.



For the most up-to-date information and to stay connected, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.


Visit the official Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games website at











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