September 2, 2022

RAINFOREST TRAIL RUN MAKES SMALL STEPS TO SUPPORT RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISION

COAST SALISH DRUMMER

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was completed in 2015 and the recommendations are slowly moving forward. A report by the Canadian Government just over one year ago produced updates on what has been done to support the recommedations.

The Rainforest Trail Run was created in 2019 to support these recommendations but 2020 and 2021 were negatively affected by the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Clearly more work needs to be done and the non-indigenous population of Canada needs to be exposed to the negative aspects of the colonial policies and their impact on our First Nations.

Every small step can move towards greater equity for all Canadians.

The Achilles International Track and Field Society who organizes the Rainforest Trail Run are indebted to our community supporters, TELUS, Victory, Vancouver Sun, The Province, City of Burnaby. These and other British Columbia groups have aided in the past 4 years to make humble progress in the search to fully respect the challenges to our founding First Nations.


2021 Federal Government Report: Sports and Reconciliation

Learn how the Government of Canada is responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action 87 to 91.

Based on data provided August 2021.

87. We call upon all levels of government, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, sports halls of fame, and other relevant organizations, to provide public education that tells the national story of Aboriginal athletes in history.

What's happening?

In 2017, the annual Tom Longboat Awards was relaunched. This program honours Indigenous athletes for their outstanding contributions to sport in Canada. The 2019 Award recipients were presented at the Canada's Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in October 2019. The 2020 awards were cancelled, as athletes were not able to compete and participate in sport due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Aboriginal Sport Circle, the national voice for Indigenous sport and a federally funded Multisport Service Organization, is engaging with Canada's Sports Hall of Fame to continue to promote The Tom Longboat Award and other relevant recognition projects.

88. We call upon all levels of government to take action to ensure long-term Aboriginal athlete development and growth, and continued support for the North American Indigenous Games, including funding to host the games and for provincial and territorial team preparation and travel.

What's happening?

The Government of Canada fully recognizes that expression through sport remains a key part of Indigenous identity. Since its inception in 1990, Sport Canada has been a steady funder of the North American Indigenous Games hosting, team preparation and travel. This is consistent with the terms of the North American Indigenous Games Funding Framework.

The North American Indigenous Games is a cornerstone of Indigenous sport and aims to improve the quality of life for Indigenous peoples by supporting self-determined sports and cultural activities that encourage equal access to participation in the social, cultural and spiritual fabric of the community.

The current North American Indigenous Games funding framework was established for the 2008 North American Indigenous Games. The Government of Canada and host province or territory government contribute matching investments of $3.5 million each toward the host society for the planning and delivery of the North American Indigenous Games, based on a total games budget of $10 million.

In October 2016, the North American Indigenous Games Council, with the approval of the Federal-Provincial and Territorial Sport Committee, adopted a new hosting model for the North American Indigenous Games to be hosted in Canada every 4 years beginning in 2020. This previously alternated between Canada and the United States every 3 years.

For the North American Indigenous Games beyond 2020, a new funding framework and hosting rotation will apply as approved in February 2019 by the federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for sport, physical activity and recreation. Ministers agreed that this Hosting Framework will apply beginning in 2024 and every 4 years thereafter and that the North American Indigenous Games Standard Operating Budget will range between $10 million and $14 million, with federal and provincial or territorial governments contributing a matching 35% of the agreed upon budget.

The report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and its Call to Action 88 was a clear factor in securing the ongoing dedicated source of funding for the North American Indigenous Games. That funding was approved via Budget 2017's Indigenous Youth and Sport funding envelope.

The Halifax 2020 North American Indigenous Games were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will be rescheduled for a later date. Supporting the North American Indigenous Games remains a major priority for the Government of Canada.

Other federal investments towards Indigenous athlete development include $18.9 million over 5 years, starting in fiscal year 2017 to 2018 and ongoing funding of $5.5 million every 4 years thereafter, to support Indigenous youth and sport initiatives.

This includes funding to the Aboriginal Sport Circle to support its leadership role through provincial and territorial bilateral agreements to the Provincial/Territorial Aboriginal Sport Bodies for culturally relevant sport programming and North American Indigenous Games team preparation and travel, and to National Sport Organizations and Multisport Service Organizations to ensure long-term Indigenous athlete development and growth.

89. We call upon the federal government to amend the Physical Activity and Sport Act to support reconciliation by ensuring that policies to promote physical activity as a fundamental element of health and well-being, reduce barriers to sports participation, increase the pursuit of excellence in sport, and build capacity in the Canadian sport system, are inclusive of Aboriginal peoples.

What's happening?

Discussions with Indigenous sport organizations have concluded that this will be a longer-term effort, given that changes to legislation require consultation with other federal government departments in collaboration with the Aboriginal Sport Circle and Indigenous Peoples in Canada.

Recent budget investments

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic's isolation measures and the disproportionate economic fallout faced by many Indigenous communities and Indigenous sport organizations, Sport Canada provided assistance through Emergency Support Funds of up to 25% of respective sport organizations' operating and approved funding. This is on top of current funding received based on existing contribution agreements.

The Emergency Support Funds were distributed as follows:

  • $34.5 million to 83 national level sport organizations based on identified needs
  • $51.4 million to all 13 provinces and territories through existing bilateral agreements to help up to 700 not-for-profit provincial and territorial sport organizations, including Aboriginal Sport Bodies, as well as regional and community sport organizations
  • $5 million to amateur athletes to help address impacts caused by the cancellation of national and international training opportunities and competitive events, including the North American Indigenous Games, and the postponement of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Next steps

The ongoing work in other areas related to Indigenous sport development will lay the foundation for the future amendment of the Physical Activity and Sport Act.

90. We call upon the federal government to ensure that national sports policies, programs, and initiatives are inclusive of Aboriginal peoples, including, but not limited to, establishing:

  1. In collaboration with provincial and territorial governments, stable funding for, and access to, community sports programs that reflect the diverse cultures and traditional sporting activities of Aboriginal peoples.
  2. An elite athlete development program for Aboriginal athletes.
  3. Programs for coaches, trainers, and sports officials that are culturally relevant for Aboriginal peoples.
  4. Anti-racism awareness and training programs.
What's happening?

The Government of Canada is investing $18.9 million over 5 years, starting in fiscal year 2017 to 2018, and ongoing funding of $5.5 million every 4 years thereafter, to support Indigenous youth and sport initiatives in the following 4 areas:

  • Indigenous sport leadership
  • culturally relevant sport programming
  • the North American Indigenous Games
  • Sport Canada's data and research

More specifically, investments were allocated to:

  • the Aboriginal Sport Circle to assume a greater leadership role on Indigenous sport development, which means have the capacity to assume and maintain a national leadership role on Indigenous sport including to facilitate Provincial/Territorial Aboriginal Sport Bodies, National Sport Organizations and Multisport Services Organization aligning their existing programming with the Indigenous Long-term Participation Pathway, and ensuring that a data strategy is developed
  • provinces and territories, through bilateral agreements, to increase the operational capacity of Provincial/Territorial Aboriginal Sport Bodies and the offering of culturally relevant sport programming including The North American Indigenous Games team preparation and travel
  • national sport organizations and multisport service organizations to ensure long-term Indigenous athlete development and growth through increasing the offering of culturally relevant sport programming

In addition, Sport Canada co-chairs, with the Aboriginal Sport Circle, the Indigenous Sport Development Working Group under the Federal-Provincial/Territorial Sport Committee. This working group brings together Indigenous sport organizations and federal-provincial and territorial governments to identify Indigenous sport priorities and co-create action plans to address them, including in relation to Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action.

Recent budget investments

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, accompanying isolation measures and disproportionate economic fallout faced by many Indigenous communities and Indigenous sport partners, Sport Canada provided assistance through Emergency Support Funds, of up to 25% of respective sport organizations' operating and approved funding. This is on top of current funding received based on existing contribution agreements.

The emergency funds were distributed as follows:

  • $34.5 million to 83 national level sport organizations based on identified needs
  • $51.4 million to all 13 provinces and territories through existing bilateral agreements to help up to 700 not-for-profit provincial and territorial sport organizations, including Aboriginal Sport Bodies, as well as regional and community sport organizations
  • $5 million dollars to amateur athletes to help address impacts caused by the cancellation of national and international training opportunities and competitive events, and the postponement of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games

91. We call upon the officials and host countries of international sporting events such as the Olympics, Pan Am, and Commonwealth games to ensure that Indigenous peoples' territorial protocols are respected, and local Indigenous communities are engaged in all aspects of planning and participating in such events.

What's happening?

Sport Canada has included this call to action in its documents shared with bid and host organizations and other stakeholders that are responsible for developing or supporting major sport event bids. These considerations are also included in Sport Canada's ongoing coordination to develop a national bidding and hosting framework for major sport events involving provincial and territorial governments, as well as other major events partners.

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