NAIG Mission Statement

To improve the quality of life for Indigenous peoples by supporting self-determined sports and cultural activities which encourage equal access to participation in the social/cultural fabric of the community they reside in and which respects Indigenous distinctiveness.

Origin of the NAIG
The dream of a large scale Indigenous Games originated at a gathering of the National Indian Athletic Association held in Nevada, 1967. Twenty years later, a group of Indigenous leaders from Alberta took the momentous step of organizing the first ever North American Indigenous Games (NAIG). Their purpose was simple: to establish an international forum in which Indigenous peoples from across Turtle Island (North America) could celebrate the athletic and cultural talents of their young people. The need for such an event was based on the realization that Indigenous athletes have not been provided the same opportunities to participate in domestic or international games, as have their non-Indigenous counterparts.
Since its inception, the NAIG has grown to become the largest multi-sport and cultural youth games hosted in Canada. The NAIG is a fundamental component of the Aboriginal sport movement as it has effected positive change in the health and well being of Aboriginal peoples across Canada. It is the primary vehicle for Indigenous youth sport development at the grassroots to provincial/territorial levels.
The Spirit - Strong, Brave, and True
The distinctive logo of the NAIG, seen at the top of this page, was designed by John Fletcher, Ron Gauthier, and Terry Lustsy, and incorporates symbols from Aboriginal philosophy. The large outer circle of the logo represents the great Turtle Island, which houses all the Creator’s creations, including animals and plants. The runner in the center of this circle represents the Native athlete. This runner has a feather in his/her hair, a very powerful symbol of the Aboriginal culture representing friendship, power, spirituality, speed, purity, courage and strength. The sash around the runner’s waist represents the Aboriginal Métis peoples. The four feathers on the four arrow shafts represent the holistic development of the athlete, which is essential for balance and harmony. The four arrows illustrate the need to cultivate the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual aspects for the athlete’s well being and complete development.
Previous NAIG Games:
  • 2008 – Cowichan, British Columbia, Canada
  • 2006 – Denver, Colorado, USA
  • 2002 – Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • 1997 – Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
  • 1995 – Blaine, Minnesota, USA
  • 1993 - Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • 1990 – Edmonton, Alberta, Canada