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The dream to hold Games for the Indigenous Peoples began in the 1970’s.

  • In 1971, the Native Summer Games held in Enoch, Alberta drew 3,000 participants competing in 13 sports and many cultural events.
  • In 1973, the Western Canada Native Winter Games were held on the Blood Reserve in Kainai, Alberta.
  • In 1975, a meeting of the National Indian Athletic Association was held in Reno, Nevada, where it was decided to organize Games for Indigenous Peoples. John Fletcher, a Peigan from Edmonton, Alberta, and Willie Littlechild, a Cree of the Ermineskin Tribe at Hobbema, Alberta, attended; John Fletcher is credited for his support in the decision to have the Games, as presented by Mr. Littlechild, based on the above success.
  • In 1977, the dream to host large scale Indigenous Games took another step forward in Sweden at the Annual Assembly of the World Council of Indigenous Peoples. Willie Littlechild presented the motion to host International Indigenous Games. It was unanimously passed. A Brazilian elder was so moved, he presented Willie Littlechild with a war arrow representing peace in his tribe. Advising it be pointed to the ground, this arrow would direct anything evil toward the underground. It is now part of the sacred ceremonial run.
  • In 1990, Edmonton, Alberta hosted the first ever North American Indigenous Games.
  • The NAIG Council was formed between 1992 and 1993 with the help of the hosts from Edmonton, Alberta and Prince Albert, Saskatchewan along with other key individuals. 

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