The Situation in Canada

Sport means different things to different Aboriginal people and groups. For many Aboriginal people, the primary purpose of sport is to build self-esteem among youth. Sport and activity gives youth a sense of purpose and direction, and, in some cases, helps them to engage in more appropriate activity during their free time while they find their way in the world.

In the Truth and Reconciliation Report (2015), sport and recreation are identified as tools for social development to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. This is the underlying rationale for this resource – to save lives and to build healthier Aboriginal people, who contribute to healthier communities. A by-product of that is more Aboriginal athletes pursuing sport excellence and standing on top of the podium. This resource seeks to provide guidance for that sport journey – from the playground to the podium – and everywhere in between.

To create the best experience in Aboriginal sport and recreation, we need to recognize that many parts of Canada’s mainstream sport pathway do not reflect the needs and cultural priorities of Aboriginal peoples. Accordingly, the Aboriginal Long-Term Participant Development Pathway presents a framework that tries to respond to their real needs and goals.


How Sport for life helps

The Aboriginal Long-Term Development Pathway resource presents a roadmap for developing sport and physical activity among Aboriginal peoples. It is a reference for those who work with Aboriginal participants in sport and recreation. The Aboriginal Long-Term Participant Development Pathway has grown out of the understanding that mainstream pathways for sport development do not necessarily align with Aboriginal needs or experiences. As such, the Aboriginal Long-Term Participant Development Pathway tries to address that gap by outlining the key elements that need to be considered when planning, developing, and implementing programs for and with Aboriginal peoples and Aboriginal communities.