Hundreds of people gathered at Dakota Dunes Conference Centre last night for a pep rally for the more than 500 athletes from Saskatchewan on their way to Halifax this weekend for the North American Indigenous Games.

The athletes will compete in 16 different events over the next ten days around Halifax, Dartmouth, and Millbrook First Nation.

Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, this has been the first North American Indigenous Games in 6 years.

At the pep rally, long time advocates for Indigenous youth sports Eugene and Lorna Arcand brought greetings to the athletes.

Lorna, who was a part of the first games in Edmonton in 1989, says the games have come a long way and Team Saskatchewan has a history of success.

We’ve come a long way,” she said. “This year marks the tenth edition of the North American Indigenous and team Saskatchewan has brought pride on 6 occasions where we were in top honours.”

Eugene Arcand believes the youth heading to the games will have the time of their lives and encouraged them all to play as a team.

No more ‘I’ in Saskatchewan, for the next ten days we are a ‘we’… go Team Saskatchewan,” he said to thunderous applause.

Over 750 Indigenous communities will be represented in the week long games

(PHOTO: Athletes walk by a cultural showcase on their way to prepare for their grand entry. Photo by Joel Willick.)