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Maskwacis a key host of World Indigenous Nations Games

Events spread across Central Alberta
A Brazilian Bororo indigenous attends the closing ceremony of the World Indigenous Games, in Palmas, Brazil, October 2015. The first edition of the World Indigenous Games, which brought nearly 2,000 delegates representing first nations from across the globe to a remote outpost in the heart of Brazil, was wrapping up on Saturday after nine hypnotic days of traditional sports, dancing, trading and inter-cultural exchange. (File photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

The upcoming World Indigenous Nations Games 2017 are more than just athletic competitions, as numerous conferences, gatherings and a business forum are all part of the 10 day event.

From July 1 through to July 9, athletes and indigenous groups from around the world will come to Central Alberta for the celebration of sport and cultural events.

A schedule of 10 conferences ranges from foods and food sovereignty, the inter-generational trauma — ’60s Scoop and youth conference to an elders gathering, global business and technology summit and strengthening voices for rights and justices — missing and murdered women/girls/men/boys.

Which is to say nothing of the athletic competitions. Close to 4,000 participants from about 30 countries will compete in a variety of events. Some are traditional athletic competitions including bow and arrow, spear throwing, tug of strength, canoeing and foot races. Others are more traditional team sports such as soccer, basketball and lacrosse.

Events are spread throughout Central Alberta with Enoch, located just west of Edmonton, serving as home base for much of the event.

After a feast at Enoch and fireworks at sites in Enoch, Edmonton and Maskwacis on Saturday, the events really get underway on Sunday.

Maskwacis and Louis Bull First Nation will host several of the events. Soccer, basketball, lacrosse, rodeo, an Indian relay and traditional indigenous games will be held at Maskwacis with soccer running from July 5 to 8, basketball running July 5 to 7 and lacrosse running July 6 to 8. All competitions start at 9 a.m. The World Indigenous Nations rodeo takes place from 1 to 4 p.m. on July 6. The WIN Indian Relay takes place on July 7 and 8 form 6 to 8 p.m., followed by the traditional games.

Louis Bull First Nation will host the foot races on July 8, also at 9 a.m.

Though many of the events take place in Enoch, Maskwacis will host an elders teepee gathering on July 2, a conference on colleges and education and international youth conference.

This is the second ever World Indigenous Nations Games, the first were held in 2015 in Brazil.

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