Beginning on Friday, athletes, coaches and other officials will begin arriving in Regina for the 2014 North American Indigenous Games.
The games officially run from July 20-27 and are expected to bring in about 5,000 people into the city.
NAIG ambassador of development and training Brad Bellegarde says in terms of volunteers, things appear to be on track with roughly 1,700 signed up.
He says the games offer tremendous opportunities not only for the athletes but also the volunteers.
“I think it’s important for individuals to recognize that they are going to be part of a legacy and ten years from now when they look back at the games, they can say they were part of one of the biggest sporting events that have ever come to the City of Regina,” he says.
Bellegarde also says he hopes those visiting Regina come away way with some sense of the cultural significance of where they are.
“I think it’s important for our visitors that are coming from all four corners of Turtle Island to understand the significance of being here in Regina which is about 45 minutes away from where Treaty Four was actually signed back in 1874.”
NAIG attracts Aboriginal athletes from all over Canada and the United States who will compete in 14 different sports.
Some of the sports include baseball, basketball, kayaking, lacrosse, golf and soccer.
Athletes range in age from 13-19.
This is only the second time NAIG have taken place in Saskatchewan.
The first time was in Prince Albert in 1993.
It was also recently announced that swimming events will go ahead at this year’s games.
These events will be held at the Kinsmen Sportsplex in Moose Jaw from July 23-25.
The theme of this year’s games is “raising the bar.”