Manitoba Indigenous Games: Introduction
Since 1999, the Manitoba Indigenous Summer Games (MISG) provided Aboriginal athletes, coaches and officials in Manitoba the opportunity to fully participate in their own multi-sport competition. It emphasized active participation in sporting competition for our Aboriginal youth regardless of sport specific skill levels, age and gender. Sport competition was one of the many goals of which participants took advantage. Opportunities to meet new friends, develop social interaction skills and gain valuable educational experiences in the diverse cultural and traditional practices found in the Aboriginal population were all found equally valuable, if not more important, than competition alone.
The Opaskwayak Cree Nation (OCN) will always be recognized as the founders of the Manitoba Indigenous Summer Games. They had the dream for Aboriginal youth to participate with other Aboriginal youth in mainstream sport competition, at the same time learning many valuable tangible and intangible skills and knowledge about themselves as Aboriginal people.
The Manitoba Aboriginal Sport & Recreation Council has proudly accepted the stewardship of this wonderful and exciting event. The selfless act of the OCN Recreation Department to hand over governance of the MISG to the MASRC was done in part to ensure its growth and development as a provincial event. The MASRC was the obvious choice as it is the recognized Provincial/Territorial Aboriginal Sport Body for Manitoba.
The success of the MISG has evolved into a greater need for more sporting, recreational, and cultural events similar in size and scope. To complement the obvious link the MISG has to the North American Indigenous Games, where 16 sports are represented and 5 in MISG, more competitive events were recommended from the grassroots levels to high performance circles.
In response, the MASRC hosted another Aboriginal multi-sport event. The introduction of the 1st Manitoba Indigenous Winter Games (MIWG) in 2006 brought forth more opportunities for provincial level competition in five sports, recreational activities, and the display of and teachings of traditional Aboriginal cultures.
The MIG timeline will follow the schedule of the Power Smart Manitoba Games following a two-year summer and winter games rotation.
- 1999 MISG – Host: Opaskwayak Cree Nation
- 2001 MISG - Host: Cross Lake Band
- 2003 MISG - Host: MMF Southwest Region
- 2004 MISG - Host: MMF The Pas & Opaskwayak Cree Nation
- 2006 MIWG - Host: Fisher River Cree Nation & Peguis First Nation
- 2007 MISG - Host: MKO, KTC, Awasis Agency of Northern Manitoba
- 2011 MIIG – Host: Peguis First Nation and Opaskwayak Cree Nation