June 16, 2017
Toronto, ON – Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) Host Society announced Unifor as a presenting partner for the multi-sport Games, taking place in the City of Toronto and Greater Toronto Area (GTA), this summer from July 16-23.
Details of the Unifor agreement include official naming rights to the two, week-long cultural festivals on the campuses of McMaster University and York University, as well as naming rights to all medal ceremonies taking place at both the cultural festival sites and various sport venues.
The highlight of the announcement featured the official unveiling of the Toronto 2017 NAIG medals and podiums. The Toronto 2017 NAIG competition medals will be presented to gold, silver and bronze performances, and feature the beautifully designed Toronto 2017 NAIG logo which incorporates an eagle, feather, sash and the colours of the northern lights. The eagle is a symbol of great significance to many Indigenous people across North America, representing strength, leadership and wisdom. The feather (First Nations), sash (Métis) and northern lights (Inuit) represent the spirit and celebration of the Games and symbolizes the coming together of all Indigenous people in unity and strength.
The colours seek to represent the emotions that the Games evoke: inspiration, kinship, passion, determination, courage, harmony and will. The lanyard on the medals features the #Team88 patch, an important legacy campaign of the Games, which pitches reconciliation through the inspirational power of sport, and the NAIG Council logo.
A total of 2,424 medals will be awarded to male and female competitors in three age categories during the Games.
The Toronto 2017 NAIG Cultural Festivals, presented by Unifor, will be a spectacular showcase of Indigenous culture and heritage, with music, cuisine, artists, traditional artisans, nightly entertainment, and medal ceremonies celebrating the top three performers in 14 sport categories.
All cultural festivals and sport competitions, taking place at sixteen world-class venues across the GTA (many of them legacy venues from the Toronto 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games), will be free of charge and open to the public.
Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, it fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future. It was formed in 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions merged.
The Toronto 2017 NAIG will host more than 5,000 participants, 2,000 volunteers and countless spectators, in what is expected to be the largest sporting and cultural gathering of Indigenous Peoples in North America.
“Our commitment has always been to deliver a best-in-class Games experience for the more than 5,000 athletes, expected to attend from across Turtle Island. Unifor will help to deliver this vision, not only for the Games, but in creating sustainable opportunities for Indigenous youth and their communities. Unifor understands the importance of acknowledgement, celebration and pride – and is happy to stand with, and for, #Team88. The embodiment of Indigenous heritage in every aspect of these Games, from the design of the medals, to the week-long cultural festivals, speaks to the importance of culture for Indigenous people and the collective need for reconciliation. Acknowledgement, opportunity and hope go hand-in-hand, and with partners like Unifor, we are taking an important step in the journey.”
-Marcia Trudeau-Bomberry, CEO, Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games
“Unifor is honoured to partner and support the Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games. Our sponsorship will help to ensure the broader community can both celebrate the achievements of the athletes, and showcase the rich diversity of Indigenous culture. These Games provide a unique opportunity to use the power of sport to unite cultures and communities in our common goal to build a better future for all.”
-Jerry Dias, National President, Unifor
“The unveiling of the medals and podiums marks the final countdown for the 2017 North American Indigenous Games and builds excitement for this showcase of athleticism and cultural heritage. Ontario is proud to welcome Indigenous athletes, coaches and spectators from across North America to our province and to celebrate the power of sport to empower and motivate youth. I look forward to seeing Team Ontario participants on the podium!”
-Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport
Toronto 2017 NAIG Quick Facts
• From July 16-23, 2017, the Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games (Toronto 2017 NAIG) are expected to be the largest sporting and cultural gathering of Indigenous Peoples in North America. The Toronto 2017 NAIG will host more than 5,000 participants, and thousands of spectators for 14 sport competitions being held within world-class venues located across the Greater Toronto Area, including the Region of Hamilton and Six Nations of the Grand River.
• The 14 core sports of the Toronto 2017 NAIG include: 3-D Archery; Athletics; Badminton; Baseball; Basketball; Canoe/Kayak; Golf; Lacrosse; Rifle Shooting; Soccer; Softball; Swimming; Wrestling; Volleyball.
• The Toronto 2017 NAIG cultural festivals, presented by Unifor, will showcase a variety of Indigenous artists, traditional learning, vendors, food, cultural performances and nightly entertainment at two sites (York and McMaster University) during the week of the Games.
• Participating teams represent all 13 provinces and territories of Canada, as well as up to 13 regions from the United States; 5,000 athletes are expected to participate.
• More than 2,100 volunteers have already signed up to be involved with NAIG 2017 through www.naig2017.to/en/getinvolved.
• The Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario, have each committed $3.5 million to help fund the 2017 Games, in recognition of the NAIG as an important agent in promoting Indigenous sport development and recreation in Canada.
• The Aboriginal Sport and Wellness Council of Ontario (ASWCO), in collaboration with the City of Toronto and Government of Ontario, won the bid to host NAIG 2017. As the sole rights holder, ASWCO created Toronto 2017 NAIG Host Society, a separate corporation to manage and operate the Games.
• Net proceeds from NAIG 2017 will be directed to a Legacy Fund, aimed at providing increased sport, health and wellness programming, services and equipment to Indigenous youth across the Province of Ontario.
• The Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games Opening Ceremony presented by Hydro One is scheduled for July 16 and will take place at Aviva Centre, home of Rogers Cup on the campus of York University.
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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.
Director, Marketing and Communications
Toronto 2017 NAIG Host Society
Unifor Communications Representative