August 6-21, 2022
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IPC formation


by: 2021 Canada Games Host Society


The formation of this council marks the first time a Canada Games Host Society partners with a council represented by various Indigenous communities in an effort to further strengthen Indigenous participation and engagement with the Games

August 6, 2020 (Niagara, ON) ― The 2021 Canada Games Host Society is excited to announce the historic signing of a memorandum of understanding with a newly formed Indigenous Partnership Council (IPC) that will aim to reinforce the presence and engagement of Indigenous communities in the events leading up to and during the Niagara 2021 Canada Summer Games. The IPC will be comprised of representatives from local, provincial and national Indigenous communities and groups including the Six Nations of the Grand River, Niagara Regional Native Friendship Centre, Fort Erie Friendship Centre, The Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, Metis Nation of Ontario, NPAAMB, Inuit and Brock University.

In collaboration with the 2021 Canada Games Host Society, the IPC’s vision will be to build a legacy for an inspiring, unifying and transformative 2021 Canada Summer Games by sharing the diverse cultures of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples. Their mission will be to co-welcome and educate the athletes, their families, guests, the larger Niagara community, and viewers nationwide on the original peoples and their beautiful ways of life by sharing their distinct cultures, traditions, songs, dances, and craftsmanship to create a unique cross-cultural experience for all at the 2021 Canada Games in Niagara. 

In order to achieve that, the IPC will play an important role in the Games’ Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Niagara Place, the 13-for-13 Cultural Festival, and the celebrations surrounding the reintroduction of the Indigenous game of lacrosse to the Canada Games.

“We are proud to be taking this important step forward in furthering the inclusion of Indigenous communities with the Niagara 2021 Canada Summer Games,” said Doug Hamilton, Board Chair of the 2021 Canada Games Host Society. “With Niagara 2021 already set to welcome the return of lacrosse to the Canada Games, this partnership with our Host Society will help us showcase the richness of Indigenous sport and culture to Canadians from coast to coast."

“Niagara 2021 has a wonderful opportunity to raise the bar nationally by listening, engaging and working together with Indigenous communities to give its participants one of the most culturally enriched experience the Games has ever seen,” added Michele-Elise Burnett, a proud Metis with Algonquin roots, who is a Board member of the 2021 Canada Games Host Society and will serve as a Chair of the IPC. “Collectively, we can create and design an exceptional Games that will convey the meaning, depth, substance and significant contributions of Indigenous culture to Canadian history.”

Located in the traditional territory of the Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples, the inclusion of lacrosse in the 2021 Canada Summer Games in the Niagara Region is seen as a meaningful step in Canada's reconciliation efforts with Indigenous peoples. Lacrosse, also known as the Creator’s game, will be making its first appearance at the Games since the 1985 Canada Summer Games in Saint John, N.B.

“The creation of this council is significant for the Indigenous communities in Niagara because it demonstrates that Niagara 2021 recognizes and acknowledges the treaty rights and traditional territory of these communities,” said Evan Sault, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation councillor and a representative on the IPC. “Additionally, this council will help create a positive, welcoming environment that will encourage all Indigenous people to attend and participate in the event.”

The IPC will also work, alongside the Host Society, to identify and recruit Indigenous candidates who will serve in leadership roles involved in the planning and operations of Niagara 2021’s Volunteer Services, Artistic Festivals, Athletes Village, and Niagara Place.

About the Niagara 2021 Canada Summer Games

At the peak of Niagara’s boldest summer yet, more than 5,000 young athletes and their coaches will gather to compete for the podium in Canada’s largest multi-sport event. On its road to glory, this shining generation of hopefuls will leave its mark on our community and on the country – transforming, inspiring, and unifying us all through the power of sport.

As ambassadors of Niagara’s unrivaled warmth and compassion, thousands of volunteers will play host to the nation. The Niagara 2021 Canada Summer Games will celebrate the wonder of sport alongside arts and culture. The Games will honour our Indigenous communities, and showcase a remarkable heritage of hard work and innovation in one of the world’s most awe-inspiring destinations.

With world-renowned hospitality, the people of Niagara will welcome visitors from across the country. Spirited events, spectacular entertainment, and the theatre of elite competition will spark new energy in the region as our streets, skies, and waterways shimmer with ceremony and celebration that is befitting of Canada’s best young athletes.

From August 6th to 21st, 2021, Niagara will surge stronger than ever on the national stage. The Games will give rise to a new legacy of ambition, confidence, and compassion that will inspire generations to come. For further information, visit us at or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram (@2021canadagames).

Media Contact:

Christopher Séguin, Media & Communications Coordinator


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