Actions and Commitments

Call to Action # 88: Sports and Reconciliation (87-91)

Canada Games will showcase Indigenous culture and traditions

July 8, 2022

Thorold Sponsorship from Meridian Credit Union and Niagara College will highlight traditions, songs, dances and craftsmanship of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples.

The Niagara 2022 Host Society is proud to announce that Meridian Credit Union and Niagara College are the presenting sponsors of Indigenous programming at the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games, which will be held on the traditional territory of the Hatiwendaronk, the Haudenosaunee, and the Anishinaabe peoples, including the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. Meridian and Niagara College will support the development of a unique cross-cultural experience for those attending this summer’s multi-sport Games through the sharing of traditions, songs, dances, and craftsmanship of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples.

Meridian and Niagara College will help accomplish this by supporting the lighting of a Sacred Fire and the creation of a Community of Nations activation that will be hosted by Niagara’s Indigenous communities at Niagara Place, one of the Games’ major cultural events that will be located at the newly-built Canada Games Park. Meridian and Niagara College will also both support performances by Indigenous artists of different disciplines and backgrounds throughout the event.

Both Meridian and Niagara College are also supporting the Games in other ways. Meridian is the official sponsor of Niagara 2022’s Volunteer Program, while Niagara College is the Games’ Official Experiential & Digital Production Partner.

“Meridian is honoured to help bring an important and meaningful aspect to the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games as sponsors of Indigenous programming,” said Wade Stayzer, Meridian’s Chief People & Culture Officer, and a Niagara 2022 Board Member. “We share a common understanding with our partners that learning and awareness will strengthen our collective relationship with Indigenous peoples and chart a better path going forward.”

“Niagara College is proud to co-sponsor the Indigenous programming at the N22 Canada Summer Games alongside Meridian,” said Rick Anderson, Vice-President Student Affairs. “With the guidance of our Indigenous Education team at NC, we are honoured to support the important work of the Indigenous Partnership Council which will give recognition to, and celebrate, First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artists.”

“This partnership confirms and reinforces Meridian’s and Niagara College’s commitment to moving the Truth & Reconciliation Commission forward and creating a sustainable and transformative cross-cultural model based on respect, and compassion founded upon equality, peace, honour and dignity, which our seventh generation will thank us for,” said Michele-Elise Burnett, a Metis/Algonquin who is a Board member of the Niagara 2022 Host Society.

“We are very grateful to Meridian and to Niagara College, who will help us strengthen the participation of Niagara’s Indigenous communities in these Games,” said Doug Hamilton, Board Chair of the Niagara 2022 Host Society. “We are also very grateful to the Indigenous Partnership Council for the invaluable advice they provided during our planning concerning the inclusion of meaningful Indigenous programming at the Games, and we look forward to providing Games participants and spectators with a culturally enriched experience that they will never forget.”

Lacrosse, a traditional Indigenous sport, will be making its first appearance at the Canada Games since the 1985 Canada Games in Saint John’s, N.B. Niagara 2022 will also host the first-ever female lacrosse competition in Canada Games history. Additionally, the 2022 Canada Summer Games will welcome 19 Indigenous coaches who were selected through the Aboriginal Apprentice Coaches Program, which is a coaching development program that has been incorporated in every Canada Games since 2005.

Held every two years, alternating between winter and summer, the Canada Games are the country’s marquee event for amateur sport representing the highest level of national competition for thousands of up-and-coming Canadian athletes. The 28th edition of the Canada Games will mark just the third occasion in the event’s history that it will have taken place in the province of Ontario and the first time in 21 years. In total, more than 5,000 participants and close to 4,500 volunteers are expected to take part in the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games scheduled for August 6-21. The 2022 Games will take place at 19 different venues across the Niagara Region and feature 18 different sports, including an inaugural rugby sevens competition and the return of lacrosse after a 37-year absence from the Games.

Tickets for this summer’s Games are currently available for purchase online