"There's nothing like a crises to focus the mind."
My experiences as a researcher and volunteer in Indigenous-led sport crystallized in May 2020 when, in Canada, amid the global Covid-19 pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement catapulted racism to the forefront of public discussions. This was five years after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission completed its mandate, and one year after the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls inquiry published its final report, making it the perfect political storm to address ongoing Indigenous concerns about sport.
Then, in May 2021, news about a mass unmarked burial ground at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia, followed by another more massive grave at Marieval Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan, refocused the nation's attention on Canada's history of genocide against Indigenous people. These two revelations, triggering others, led me to wonder where these 'discoveries' would lead. What new social, political, and cultural space would we create from these truths?
This site builds on that extraordinary combination of events that has profoundly shifted all of our lives. It does this by serving as an online hub for identifying and discussing useful research, and by producing insightful commentary, focused on Indigenous sport and physical activity development in Canada.
This kind of attention is important since one of the many facts about colonization is that sport and physical activities have always been wrapped up in settler aims to dominate. The history of sports and games in the Canadian Indian residential school system stands as clear evidence of this truth. In light of this knowledge, and in an effort to support systemic change, the intent of this site is to promote informed and responsible advocacy in the Indigenous sport and physical activity sector.