Celebrating National Indigenous History Month Through Sport and Recreation

This month, we recognize the incredible legacy of Indigenous peoples in sport and recreation communities.

June is a special time in Canada—it’s National Indigenous History Month! This month is all about celebrating and recognizing the amazing history, culture, resilience, and diversity of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities all over the country.

So, you know it’s important to understand the significance of this national celebration but not sure what to do next?

This month is a chance for everyone in Canada to come together. Check out all the cool resources available throughout June! Let’s learn about Indigenous cultures and appreciate these communities’ amazing contributions to our country.

Our Commitment at Canlan Sports

At Canlan Sports, we believe sports and recreation can bring people together, make us healthier, and strengthen our communities. We’re committed to being inclusive, accessible, and environmentally friendly in everything we do. We aim to create places where everyone feels welcome and valued, and where we celebrate diverse voices and experiences.

Indigenous peoples have a long history of sports, resilience, and strong community spirit. During National Indigenous History Month, we’re focusing on recognizing and celebrating the important role Indigenous cultures have in sports and recreation.

Historical and Cultural Significance of Traditional Indigenous Sports and Games

Indigenous cultures have a huge impact on the sports and recreation we enjoy today. Traditional Indigenous sports and games are deeply woven into the cultural and spiritual fabric of daily life. They often carry significant historical and cultural meaning, serving to pass down traditions, values, and skills from one generation to the next.

Sports also serve a purpose that goes beyond just playing the game. Indigenous communities have developed sports as storytelling mediums where we can reflect on the natural environment, historical events, and social structures of the communities we live in.

Why is Indigenous History Month important in sports?

Playing sports and doing fun activities is great for staying healthy, feeling good, and making friends. Sports and recreation help people hang out, build connections, and feel like they belong. But even though Indigenous communities have greatly influenced our sports and values, Canada’s sport pathway poses many barriers that prevent Indigenous peoples from accessing the full benefits of sport and recreational play.

Continue Your Journey by Taking Action!

National Indigenous History Month is an important step towards reconciliation, but it’s just part of a bigger journey. Real reconciliation needs ongoing commitment and action from everyone in Canada. Beyond June, it’s important to keep learning about Indigenous cultures, supporting Indigenous rights, and backing Indigenous-led projects.

Below you’ll find great resources that explain historical timelines and highlight Indigenous cultures and contributions in a way that’s easy for your kids to understand. You’ll also find information on how to support Indigenous voices and promote reconciliation through different perspectives like coaching, being an athlete, working in institutions, and understanding the unique experiences of Indigenous women. 

Whether you’re registered in leagues and programs, participating in tournaments and events, or just learning more about Indigenous contributions, there are many ways to get involved and show your support. Being an ally and learning is a lifelong journey, but the list below is a great starting point for you and your kids to begin learning together.

CBC Kids News | National Indigenous History Month: When did it start and what is it?

Aboriginal Sport Circle | Aboriginal Coaching Program (ACP) | Athletes Support

Sport for Life | Stepping Stones to Indigenous Sport and Physical Activity Participation

Canadian Women & Sport | The Sporting Experiences of BIPOC Women & Girls in Canada

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