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North American Indigenous Games: Team EDN is headed to Halifax

Press Release

Wendake, July 15, 2023 — In a few days, 265 First Nations athletes from 28 communities in Quebec as well as several members of the mission team and coaching staff will be travelling to Halifax to wear the colours of Team Eastern Door and the North (EDN) at the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG).

The NAIG is the largest sporting and cultural event for Indigenous peoples. This year, they will take place from July 15 to 23, 2023 and will welcome more than 5,000 athletes aged 12 to 19 from more than 756 Nations in Canada and the United States. For the 2023 edition, participants will have the opportunity to show their talents by competing in one of the fifteen sports disciplines: 3D archery, athletics, badminton, baseball, basketball, canoe/kayak, golf, box lacrosse, rifle shooting, soccer, softball, beach volleyball, swimming, volleyball and wrestling.

The coaches have all been trained according to specific roles and will manage the team. In addition, two Inuit circus artists, Connie Ittukallak and Jacqueline Tulugak, have joined the delegation and will have the opportunity to share their art in front of a large audience. Likewise, four chiefs and a counsellor will also join the team:

  • Chief Picard (Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador [AFNQL])
  • Grand Chief Bonspille (Kanesatake)
  • Chief Piétacho (Ekuanitshit)
  • Chief Vachon (Pessamit)
  • Carina Dominique (Pekuakamiulnuatsh Takuhikan)

Ghislain Picard, Chief of the AFNQL, will be present in Halifax to encourage the athletes of Team EDN: “The NAIG is a very important event for our youth. In addition to showcasing our athletes’ sport performance, they also shape the youth of tomorrow. These Games are a golden opportunity to build bonds between nations. Shared values and cohesion between nations are critical to keep our cultures and history alive.”

Derek Montour, President of the Board of Directors of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission (FNQLHSSC), takes the health and wellness of athletes to heart. He stressed their importance during the NAIG:

“Our athletes have all it takes to succeed and achieve their goal. Health professionals and elders will be on site to provide them with physical, mental, emotional and spiritual support. Their wellness is very important to us, and we want to offer them all available resources to ensure their personal and athletic fulfillment. Whether they win or lose, everyone is already a success for trying.”

The Chef de Mission, Médérik Sioui, from the FNQLHSSC, feels very fortunate to be part of Team EDN and thus contribute to the event’s preparations:

“I am honoured to serve as Chef de Mission for this edition of the NAIG. The cancellation of the 2020 NAIG due to the pandemic was hard on many Team EDN athletes and staff. This year, our athletes are readier than ever! I am proud of what the young people have accomplished, and I want to highlight their resilience over the past few years. They will benefit from an incredible and unique sporting and cultural experience.”

Competition results and photos will be published daily on the various social media accounts of Team EDN. To follow and support Team EDN:

Facebook: Équipe PEN – Team EDN
Instagram: @pen_edn


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