By Raven Brass

The File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council is off to a great start in preparations to host the Saskatchewan First Nations Summer Games in 2017. FHQTC received a cheque from Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority for $125,000 in support for the upcoming event at a press conference held inside the First Nations University of Canada.

The 2017 Saskatchewan First Nations Summer Games will be held in Regina, SK. The last time they were held in the Queen City was in the 1990s.

The games will take place from August 6th to the 11th and bring together 5,000 athletes, coaches, chaperones and officials. Coming from throughout Saskatchewan, the athletes will range in ages between 13-18 years old and compete in various sporting events such as athletics, archery, beach volleyball, canoeing, cross country, golf, lacrosse (showcase), soccer and softball.

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The CEO of SIGA, Zane Hansen spoke about the excitement leading up towards the games and how proud SIGA is on supporting the Indigenous youth. Hansen emphasized the importance of the games and how it will bring community members together.

“It’s great to see File Hills Qu’Appelle and their communities taking up the charge this summer and getting them hosted here. We’re just glad to support and provide help where we can and carry on that way,” said Hansen.

Regina Mayor Michael Fougere was in attendance as well and spoke about how he really encourages the games being hosted in Regina. He added that the city will do all they can to make it a huge success and mentioned hopes for another one being hosted here again in the future.

“[They’re] talking about would we support this and we said absolutely we would do that, come and talk to us about a proposal and how that would work and we’re more than happy to be there,” said Fougere.

FHQTC’s vice Chief and Games Chair Elaine Chicoose said that they are hoping to work towards having some of the events at the new Mosaic Stadium, depending on the CFL’s schedule during that time.

“We were thinking of maybe having the opening ceremonies there and I think that would really help our youth to see what it’s all about, so I look forward to that, it hasn’t been a given yet, but we’re working on it,” said Chicoose.

The Saskatchewan First Nations Summer Games has been an ongoing tradition, bringing together youth from around the 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan. Chicoose expressed how they are still looking for more volunteers as well.

“It’s very important for our youth to know that they do have something. They do have the communities, they do have something to be proud of as they go along in their life because sometimes it gets very frustrating for some of our youth at the community levels because sometimes they don’t have that recreation and culture to fall back on. But I think the games will help them along the ways, to help them achieve something,” said Chicoose.

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