The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, PC, MP Minister of Science and Sport
On the occasion of Indigenous Sport Initiative
Toronto, Ontario May 31, 2019
Check Against Delivery
Hello and welcome.
Thank you, Pat Green, for your warm welcome and blessing.
It’s a pleasure to be here today as we gather on the traditional territory of several Indigenous Nations, and pay special recognition to the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.
And thank you for being with us to celebrate this important announcement.
As a former athlete, coach and official, I know firsthand the transformative power of sport.
I love sport. I live for sport.
Sport builds self-esteem and leadership skills. It allows our children and youth to grow and thrive—physically, emotionally and socially.
Everyone deserves the opportunity to benefit from sport.
Sadly, many barriers remain to ensuring that everyone has access to sport—including culturally relevant sport, as in the case of Indigenous children and youth.
We know there is a significant gap between the socio-economic well-being of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples and communities.
That’s why our government has been working to renew the relationship with Indigenous Peoples — to one based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership.
And, as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission stated, sport and physical activity are an essential part of Indigenous identity.
In Budget 2018, our government announced investments of $9.5 million per year ongoing to expand the use of sport for social development in more than 300 Indigenous communities.
Today, I’m pleased to announce a new program to help improve the daily lives of Indigenous Peoples and build stronger, healthier communities for all.
We listened carefully to Indigenous leaders and stakeholders, including the Aboriginal Sport Circle.
This program uses sport as a tool to achieve positive social outcomes for Indigenous children and youth.
Active participation in sport can help:
Annual funding will be provided through two streams.
Under Stream One, sixty percent of the funds—or $5.3 million—will be available to the 13 Provincial/Territorial Aboriginal Sport Bodies. This will support the delivery of community sport and physical activity projects.
Stream Two will see the remainder of the funds—or $3.6 million—directed to Indigenous governments and communities, and other organizations that are submitting project proposals in collaboration with Indigenous communities.
Today, we launch the call for proposals and invite Indigenous groups and sport delivery organizations to submit their ideas for projects under these two streams.
I’d also like to thank my dear friend and colleague, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, for her hard work and dedication to Indigenous communities across Canada and for promoting sport for social and personal development.
This is a tremendous opportunity to make a significant difference for Indigenous Peoples, especially children and youth.
I will be following this initiative with great interest, and look forward to receiving your proposals.