Indigenous Lacrosse Team

Sport and Recreation Programming for Indigenous Communities

MHSTCI’s Indigenous programs, developed in partnership with Indigenous communities and organizations, aim to:

  • provide community-based sport and recreation opportunities for all age groups that meet the needs of Indigenous peoples
  • develop a clear pathway for Indigenous athletes to participate and reach their full potential in organized competitive sport
  • revitalize Indigenous culture and resiliency through land-based physical activity programs and leadership development
  • enable sport, physical activity and recreation participation to contribute to active, healthy and resilient Indigenous communities

The Indigenous sport and recreation programs supported by the ministry help to reduce barriers to participation and are part of the province’s work toward reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

Sport Pathway for Ontario Native Wellness

Ontario supports initiatives that provide sport and recreation opportunities for Indigenous athletes, coaches and volunteers. This includes the Sport Pathway for Ontario Native Wellness initiative, which is delivered in partnership with Indigenous Sport & Wellness Ontario (ISWO), the nationally recognized Provincial/Territorial Aboriginal Sport Body for Ontario.

The Sport Pathway supports an integrated regional network of opportunities for all Indigenous peoples - First Nations, Métis and Inuit, living on and off reserve in urban, rural and remote settings to participate at recreational levels and advance to high performance competition.

The goals of the Sport Pathway initiative are to:

  • Reduce barriers for Indigenous people to participate in organized sport
  • Create opportunities for Indigenous athletes to train and compete within the Indigenous community to build skill and competition preparedness
  • Build on the existing mainstream sport and recreation system to involve and develop Indigenous participants, athletes and coaches to achieve their full potential.

Since 2014, Sport Pathway funding has helped ISWO to develop and deliver dozens of programs, tournaments and events across Ontario each year including multi-sport and cultural camps for youth, sport clinics, coaching certification and training workshops, wellness programs, invitational sport tournaments and youth leadership programs. The Sport Pathway also supports the selection, training and coordination of Team Ontario at the North American Indigenous Games – an international multi-sport event for Indigenous youth from across Canada and the United States – and the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships.

Community Aboriginal Recreation Activator Program

The Community Aboriginal Recreation Activator Program provides First Nation communities with community-driven sport, recreation, and physical activities to enhance the quality of life for community members.

Participating communities are provided with funding to hire an Activator. Each Activator creates a recreation plan to meet the needs in their local community, and facilitates and implements the plan, with the goal of enhancing the community’s participation in sport and recreation.

The following communities are currently participating in the program:

  • Alderville First Nation
  • Algonquins of Pikwakanagan
  • Asuabepeeschoseewagong Netum Anishinabek (Grassy Narrows) First Nation
  • Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation
  • Batchewana First Nation of Ojibways
  • Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation
  • Chippewas of the Thames First Nation
  • Constance Lake First Nation
  • Curve Lake First Nation
  • Eabametoong First Nation
  • Kingfisher Lake First Nation
  • Long Lake #58 First Nation
  • Mississauga First Nation
  • Mitaanjigaming First Nation
  • Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte First Nation
  • Moose Cree First Nation
  • Nibinamik First Nation
  • Nipissing First Nation
  • Ojibways of Onigaming First Nation
  • Oneida First Nation of the Thames
  • Sachigo Lake First Nation
  • Saugeen First Nation
  • Wasauksing First Nation
  • Webequie First Nation

These communities also receive ongoing support and mentorship from regional staff of the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism, and Culture Industries to support capacity building.

Youth Cultural Camps

As part of Ontario’s journey of healing and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, the Youth Cultural Camps program provides community-based cultural programming opportunities for Indigenous youth to expand understanding of Traditional Knowledge and languages, while developing leadership skills through land-based activities.

Youth Cultural Camp funding supports Indigenous organizations to administer and coordinate youth cultural camps and cultural programming in their member nations, enabling youth to connect to their culture and the people in their community. Currently, funded partners include Indigenous Sport & Wellness Ontario, Métis Nation of Ontario, the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres, First Nations Political Territorial Organizations (PTOs), and two independent First Nations.