The vision for the North American Indigenous Games began in the 1970's: to improve the quality of life for Indigenous Peoples by supporting self-determined sports and cultural activities which encourage equal access to participation in the social / cultural / spiritual fabric of the community in which they reside and which respects Indigenous distinctiveness. The first official NAIG was held in 1990 in Edmonton, Alberta, and has been staged on seven other occasions since then, in various locations throughout Canada and the United States.
Today, the North American Indigenous Games have grown to a multi-sport, multi-disciplinary event involving Indigenous youth from Canada and the United States. The Games offer 14 sport competitions in addition to a vibrant cultural program, showcasing local and North American indigenous cultural groups and entertainers. The North American Indigenous Games help us realize the collective potential of our bodies, minds, spirit and of our people – our hopes and dreams – The Spirit Strong, Brave & True.
Athletes competing in the NAIG must be born of North American Indigenous ancestry. All contingents participating in the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) must represent the Indigenous Peoples of a Province/Territory in Canada, or a State/Region in the United States of America. Only athletes registered with a contingent are eligible to compete in the NAIG.
Team NWT has sent a contingency to NAIG since the 90's. The main sports in which Team NWT competes are: Archery, Atletics, Badminton, Basketball, Canoe/Kayak, Golf, Rifle Shooting, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Volleyball, and Wrestling. In fact, there are only two sports Team NWT does not send a team: Lacrosse and Baseball!