The Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games have officially drawn to a close. Unifor partnered with the Games to sponsor medal ceremonies and the week-long Cultural Festival which featured Indigenous music, arts and live entertainment.
More than 70 members and staff volunteered at various sporting events and also greeted athletes and visitors at the Unifor booths at the Festival locations at McMaster and York Universities.
“Through the performances of these athletes, we have seen the true meaning of sport,” said National President Jerry Dias. “We have witnessed that sport not only has the ability to inspire an individual, but also the power to transform communities, provinces and the country itself."
The theme of the 2017 Games was Team 88, which references the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's 88th call to action directing all levels of government to support Indigenous sports. Last year, in support of First Nation, Inuit and Metis peoples, Unifor devoted a day at its Convention to demand justice for Indigenous people and immediate action on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations.
“We must recognize the history of colonialism and acknowledge the cultural genocide against Indigenous people before we can move forward and push for change,” said Dias. “Unifor shares this vision and believes that we have a collective responsibility to walk the path towards reconciliation.”
More than five-thousand athletes from all 13 provinces and territories of Canada, as well as up to 13 regions from the United States competed in 14 core sports during the Games, which ran between July 16-23 at world class venues in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas.